Columbus Man "Addicted" To Downton Abbey DVD's Wanted Again For Theft

Nov 12, 2015

A Columbus man dubbed the "Downton Abbey Addict" is wanted for stealing more DVD and Blu-ray box sets.

Columbus authorities say 29 year old Branden Joseph Deel of the city's east side began his binge thefts of Downton Abbey discs in January of 2014 when he stole 12 DVD box sets worth a total retail value of $560.88. 

Credit Columbus City Prosecutor's Office

He has served time in both the Delaware County and Franklin County jails for the DVD thefts.

In October he struck again at a northwest Columbus retailer and escaped with 12 DVD box sets and other items valued at more than $650.

"I can't say whether Mr. Deel is binge watching Downton Abbey or selling the box sets for drug money, but I at least give him credit for having better taste than most thieves," said First Assistant City Prosecutor Bill Hedrick.

Deel has a criminal history that includes felony charges of drug possession, obstructing official business, tampering with evidence, and felony weapons possession.

The below text is an automated transcript of the interview, please excuse all errors.

Debbie Holmes: Columbus authorities are searching once again for the bandit they call "Downton Abbey addict". He's twenty nine year old Brandon Joseph deal of Columbus, and he likes to steal DVD, and Blu ray box sets of the well known PBS British drama. A new warrant is out for his arrest. With me to talk about that is Assistant City prosecutor Bill Hedrick. Thanks for talking with me this morning.

Bill Hedrick: No problem Debbie.

DH: Now tell me about this strange thief.

BH: Well, he has stolen other types of DVD's as well. Originally we dubbed him the Downton Abbey addict because he'd steal a number of complete box set seasons of that. But he also steals a lot of other box sets with other TV programs and movie sets as well.

DH: What kind of other T.V. programs?

BH: It looks like the latest time. His latest one he's been charged up to over the twelfth, it looks like he is charged with stealing five hundred sixty dollars worth from Myers and clips Vampire Diaries, Spartacus series, Grey's Anatomy DVD set, Supernatural.

DH: Ok. And how much has he stolen in Downton Abbey material?

BH: Looks like to me several times in the past he was convicted of stealing several hundred dollars worth from seasons one through four at a Wal-Mart. Then he had another time he did seasons one through four and the other two box sets about three or four hundred dollars worth of Downtown Abbey.

DH: Do we know why he stealing those items in particular then the Downton Abbey Series?

BH: I suspect, and it was a little shocking to me, there must be some type of black market value for DVD sets. Why he chose this and where he can possibly sell this obviously I'd doubt he's really using this result personal use given the quantities that he has, but it looks like he focuses on DVD.'s. He was convicted and put on probation earlier this year. Lo and behold it's October the twelfth, he's now been charged again and again of stealing large quantities of DVD'S, the box sets he did move off of having Downton Abbey this time but again he did still a lot of DVD box sets of different series.

DH: He served time in Delaware County earlier this year and he also served some time in Franklin County.

BH: Yes. So, I've pulled the court records and it appears on one of the cases he was put on probation. He now owes up to one hundred eighty days and jail, if he's revoked on that he did twelve days on the other case. He did probably about a month up in Delaware County and is he drastically unique then in his methods. His wanting these DVD's is symbolic. Now we've had a lot of thefts on DVD's has went down significantly a lot of other items are more the higher theft items so this is. He's unique in that he's stealing to specifically DVD's and again specific titles. A lot of that thieves that we have, either if they're serial thieves or if they're stealing to support a drug habit, they vary in what they steal. They can go anywhere from electronics to clothing to jewelry anything they can get their hands on he specifically. He only steals DVD.'s.

DH: Now he does have an extensive record. Most of it is a history of theft, marijuana possession, obstructing official business, tampering with evidence, and weapon under disability. I've been talking with Assistant City prosecutor Bill Hedrick about the Downton Abbey addict. Thanks a lot for talking with me.

BH: Thanks Debbie.