Burglary suspect who died in fire suffered from bipolar disorder, mother says

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The mother of a burglary suspect who died in a fire she set after she was caught in the act by police says he daughter suffered from bipolar disorder. Adeana Toles tells NBC4 that her 24-year-old daughter, Devin, was a mother of two children but has struggled with drug addiction.

Columbus Police responded to a call of a home burglary alarm on the city’s east side Monday evening around 6 pm. Responding officers reported seeing someone start to run out of the house but then turn around and go back inside.

Moments later, they say, the suspect lit a fire in the back of the house.

Police surrounded the house and used a bullhorn to urge the suspect to surrender.

Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin says that crews fought the fire from a distance while police tried to negotiate with the suspect.

After the fire was eventually extinguished, police and firefighters found the body of Devin K. Toles in a bathroom of the home.

The owner of the home, Abubakar Babello, says he has had an ongoing problem with burglaries. “I did everything I could to secure the house but evidently they were watching my movements and the moment I step out to leave for work…they break in,” Babello said.

Babello says he’s not sure yet whether anything inside the home can be salvaged. He said he had let his homeowners insurance lapse. “It’s terrible, it’s absolutely terrible, it’s just so sad for this to happen,” Babello said.

There were no pets or other people inside the building, according to investigators.

Police continue to investigate, but said it appears Toles acted alone in the burglary and the arson fires.

Anyone with information on the incident can call the Columbus Division of Police Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.


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