July 17, 2012

Stolen vessel recovered; three arrested

Marathon – A boat, stolen from Marathon Friday was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard over the weekend. Three men are under arrest for the theft.

The owner of the vessel called the Sheriff’s Office Friday morning. He told Sgt. Glenn Test he went to sleep the night before in his motor home with the boat moored right next to a dock where the boat was tied up. He said when he got up, the boat was gone. He said the boat was low on fuel and the batteries were weak, so he wasn’t sure how far the thieves may have gotten  in it.

On Sunday, Sgt. Eric Mixon was contacted by the Coast Guard. They told him they’d boarded the stolen vessel near Alligator Reef offshore of Islamorada. They’d gotten a call from a boater who’d passed the disabled vessel. He said the men on board were waving at him asking for help; he thought it looked suspicious and decided to report it.

The Coast Guard responded and found the three men on board. The men said the boat belonged to a friend, but they couldn’t give the friend’s name or contact information. They later changed their story, saying they’d bought the vessel from someone for $1,500.00 with the intention of going to Cuba. They said the vessel became disabled as they approached the shoreline of Cuba. They said they drifted for several days, ending up at Alligator Reef.

Deputies arrested the three men at the Coast Guard station in Key West Monday. 32 year old Abraham Rodriguez-Alvarez of Miami, 36 year old Wilber Rodriguez Perez of Marathon and 24 year old Lisvany Sanchez of Marathon were all charged with grand theft and they were booked into jail.

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