April 8, 2015

Man charged with theft of a boat

A Cape Coral man was arrested Tuesday after stealing a boat from Sunset Water Sports at the Hurricane Hole Marina on Stock Island.

Detectives David Cruz and Dave Chavka responded to the marina Tuesday morning after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) found the boat abandoned on the west side of Key West, grounded on the flats. It was a 2002 Cape Craft 21 foot center console boat registered to the water sports business. They had not yet discovered it was missing.

Surveillance video at the marina showed a suspect ride a bike into the marina just after 6 a.m. He left the bike and walked onto the boat. The boat had been worked on the previous day and the keys were left on board. The suspect left the marina in the boat.

Employees of Sunset Water Sports went out on the water to recover the grounded vessel. As they were working on it, a witness who lives near where the boat ran aground approached them. He told them he saw the suspect through his binoculars trying to get the boat off the flats. He then saw the man swim to a nearby sailboat and climb aboard.

The two detectives got a ride with FWC out to that sailboat, which appeared to be abandoned. They found 24 year old Yasmani Chamizo Betancourt on board. He told them a friend, who he could not identify, had dropped him off on the boat.

Betancourt matched the description of the person on the video, and the person the witness saw on the stolen boat. He was arrested, charged with criminal mischief and grand theft and he was taken to jail.

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