Exclusive: Miami Beach Police Arrest Four In Suspected Wave Runner Crime Ring
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South Florida Crime
MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) - Miami Beach Police believe two men arrested this month for the theft of two wave runners are part of a crime ring in which personal watercrafts are being stolen, stripped down for parts, and shipped out of the country.
According to the court documents obtained by CBS4, Yadiel Valera, 23, and Sergio Aguirre, 27, are still in Miami-Dade County Jail on theft charges stemming from the May 5th incident at a waterfront estate near the Miami Heart Institute.
Miami Beach Police said Valera, who has a criminal past for auto theft and the sale of vehicles with altered VINs, was brazen enough to post a photo on his Facebook page showing himself with a personal watercraft that police have identified as stolen.
Police said that both Valera and Aguirre, wearing ski masks and wet suits, were caught on surveillance video outside a waterfront estate near the Miami Heart Institute on May 5th stealing two wave runners valued at more than $36,000.
While the two men were committing the crime, an alarm was set off which awoke the homeowner shortly after midnight.
“These guys definitely knew what they were doing,” said the homeowner who asked CBS4 to remain unidentified.
“We saw live on the security system monitors these guys in masks, gloves, and wetsuits driving off in our jet skis,” he said.
According to police, the suspects zipped away on the waterway toward Biscayne Bay, where they had planned to pull the stolen waverunners out of the water at the Watson Island Boat ramp.
There, police said they had a truck and trailer parked that Valera’s girlfriend, Danitza Ruiz, was acting as a lookout for police were in the area.
Unfortunately for Varela and Aguirre, police arrived at the boat ramp before they did and found that the truck and trailer had a problem with the tag and towed it away.
The next day, according to police, Valera and Aguirre showed up at the tow yard in a car which they later found ski masks, wet suits, and other evidence from the crime.
Police also seized a receipt for a rental warehouse in West Miami-Dade belonging to Gerardo Govea. That receipt led them to search the storage facility and recover two other stolen personal watercraft, and surveillance videos of Valera’s truck delivering one of the stolen watercrafts to the storage facility.
Court documents say Govea later told police that the two were involved in stealing and selling stolen jet skis.