Two men were arrested after they stole a boat from behind a Tavernier home, took it for a ride and wound up grounding it on flats just offshore Wednesday afternoon.
Sgt. Dawn Leird responded to a call on Blue Harbor Drive in Tavernier just before 5 p.m. after neighbors in that area reported a boat was grounded just offshore with two men on board. When Sgt. Leird arrived, one of the men had climbed off the boat and was no longer in sight. The second man was trying to push the 23 foot Sea Pro off the flats it was grounded on. 31 year old Alvaro Tato of Sunrise, Florida came to shore and told the sergeant the boat belonged to his friend, 49 year old Carlos DeCosta of Boca Raton.
Just then, DeCosta came into sight, paddling a kayak and yelling to Tato. DeCosta told Sgt. Leird he took the boat from the back of a house on East Beach Road. He said he just took it for a ride and was going to return it. He said he did not have permission to use the boat. He said the keys were on board and he was going to bring it right back. DeCosta said he took the kayak from the same residence.
The owner of the boat was located in Hialeah. The owner said no one had permission to use his boat or his kayak.
Both men were arrested and charged with two counts of grand theft. They were booked into jail. The boat was towed off the flats. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be assessing the damage done during the grounding of the vessel.