Instagram videos and incriminating text messages landed two Volusia County teens already facing multiple burglary and weapons charges in more trouble, Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Thursday.
Vincent Shalkowitz — who the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said has been arrested 11 times since he was 11 — and Jeremy Jones, who is in jail in a separate case, are facing charges of conspiracy to commit armed home invasion, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, grand theft of a firearm and possession of a weapon by an adjudicated delinquent.
Both suspects have been arrested previously this year. Shalkowitz, who is being held at Volusia County Branch Jail on a $35,000 bond, was booked in May for felony possession of a firearm and misdemeanor marijuana possession. Jones was arrested twice following a string of burglaries and car thefts.
Deputies said they added more charges Thursday after looking through Shalkowitz’s cell phone, which revealed videos posted to Instagram of the two inside a stolen car and toting guns. Text messages also revealed discussions about a stolen vehicle and plans to “commit an armed home invasion robbery of a man and his girlfriend,” deputies said.
The 33-second video montage featuring Shalkowitz and Jones was posted on the agency’s Facebook page. Chitwood also shared June 2017 Instagram video of Shalkowitz calling on deputies to “get me if u can” after appearing to cut off his ankle monitor.
“Here’s a message from our friend Vincent Shalkowitz, whose hobbies include making a mockery of the juvenile justice system,” Chitwood said. “He was arrested but never prosecuted for it. Just another example in a long line of examples of our broken juvenile justice system.”
Shalkowitz, who turned 18 in December, a suspected gang member, was on probation from 2013 to 2019 but never served time in a detention center
The sheriff’s office couldn’t respond to questions as to why he hasn’t served time, noting the decision is made by judges.
“I know Sheriff Chitwood is certainly of the opinion that juvenile offenders like Vincent (now and adult) have gotten off easy for too long,” spokesman Andrew Gant said.
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