ISLAMORADA (CBSMiami) – Three Miami men have been charged in a number of rod and reel theft cases that have taken place between Duck Key and Key Largo over the last three months.
Hector Torres, Alfredo Melian Casanova and Kristofer LLuis, all 18-years of age, were arrested Saturday after they were caught stealing equipment from boats at Robbie’s Marina in Islamorada, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies were called to Robbie’s Marina in Islamorada just before 7 a.m.
A charter boat captain at the marina told the deputies he was getting his boat ready for a charter when he noticed he was missing a bait cooler and a couple of rods and reels. He said two other people on nearby boats also said they were missing gear.
He said he noticed three men at the marina he didn’t recognize who were on an outer dock feeding Tarpon. He said it is unusual for anyone to be at the marina at that hour, so he became suspicious.
The captain and the other boat owners went to the parking lot and saw a green Toyota 4-Runner parked there. Inside the vehicle, through open windows, the reportedly saw all the stolen rods and reels and his bait cooler. He took a picture of the truck’s license tag and the stolen items inside.
At that point, the three men who’d been feeding Tarpon walked up and confronted the captain and the others who asked for their gear back. The men reportedly refused, got in their truck and drove away. The theft victims called the sheriff’s office.
Deputies pulled the trio over at mile marker 86. In addition to the stolen items, they reportedly found burglary tools inside the vehicle, including bolt cutters, screw drivers, two head lamps, two flashlights and a face covering.
During questioning they admitted to committing multiple burglaries and thefts between January and April from various locations in middle and upper Florida Keys, according to the sheriff’s office. They said the property they stole was subsequently sold at the Homestead Flea Market.
All three were booked into jail on multiple counts of burglary, grand theft and possession of burglary tools. More charges are expected.