May 21, 2014

Two arrested for burglarizing dive shops in Key Largo

Some of the recovered dive gear, stolen overnight by
two Homestead men who were arrested.
Two Homestead men were arrested early today, charged with burglarizing two Key Largo dive shops.

Sgt. Jason Madnick was on patrol on State Road 905 just before 1 a.m. when he noticed a yellow Mitsubishi Lancer parked alongside the road with its flashers on.  He stopped to see if everything was alright. He found two men outside the vehicle. They had what looked like brand new pieces of dive gear. They were pulling red and green tags off the gear and throwing the tags onto the ground.

When he asked them what they were doing, one of them said he was making room in the back of his car for his dive gear. He said he just bought the gear for $50. Sgt. Madnick saw a buoyancy compensator, dive fins, dive bags and multiple wet suits on the trunk of the car. He commented the gear was worth much more than $50. The man – later identified as a 17 year old from Homestead – then changed his story. He said he bought the gear for $450 from an unknown person in Islamorada.

Sgt. Madnick looked inside the car and saw more dive gear with tags on it. He radioed to other officers on duty, asking them to begin looking at area dive shops to see if there had been any break-ins to any of them.

Two burglaries were discovered: at Scuba Outlet at the 106 mile marker of highway U.S. One and at Sea Dweller’s Dive Center at the 99.8 mile marker of highway U.S. One. Responsible parties for each business were contacted and responded. All the stolen items were identified by the employees as coming from their dive shops.

The 17 year old and 19 year old Michel Lalcebo were both arrested. Inside the car, officers found burglary tools, including tools used to cut fencing to gain access to the businesses, gloves and hand-held radios. The two were charged with two counts each of burglary, possession of burglary tools, grand theft, criminal mischief and use of a two way communication device to facilitate a felony. 

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