Police collected samples of dried blood, which is presumed to have come from the suspect's hands.
A Port Orange nonprofit art gallery benefitting students from across Volusia County was broken into and vandalized sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, police report.
According to the police report, a passerby called the Port Orange Police Department at 9:32 a.m. on Monday, March 18, to report a broken window at the ArtHaus building. The ArtHaus executive director and the office manager told police ArtHaus was last seen secure and normal around 4 p.m. the day before.
No suspects were found inside when officers arrived, but signs of further vandalism were spotted. The ArtHaus executive director's office was ransacked, a picture frame was broken, a $300 computer was stolen and numerous beer bottles were found both broken and intact in one room. The bottles came from the gallery's fridge, as well as a pie which had been moved and partially eaten during the burglary.
Police found dried blood on the walls and countertops, and presumes it to come from the suspects; There could be more than one. The Police Department was also able to collect four samples of blood on cotton swabs, as well as several finger prints from around the premises.
The incident happened just a few days after ArtHaus was presented with a $420 check from the Port Orange Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class of 2018 on Thursday, March 14. This donation would help underprivileged students attend summer camp at ArtHaus.
No student artwork damaged in the break-in.
“It is so unfortunate that our small youth art nonprofit organization became a victim of such a nonsensical act of crime and destruction," said Cameron Vintson, ArtHaus executive director. "We will move forward from this point with an even greater determination to instill creativity and cultural enrichment in our youth and community."
On behalf of ArtHaus, Vintson thanked POPD for its prompt arrival and care of the student artwork.
“We are so very grateful for our community,” Vintson said.
This is a developing story.