Sheriff’s detectives say someone is targeting Mares Brand dive gear and has entered two separate dive shops in the Upper Keys and damaged thousands of dollars in buoyancy control devices and wet suits by slashing them with a sharp object.
The store manager said when they checked, they found 13 wet suits and one dive bag, all the Mares brand, damaged. Someone has slashed them down the back.
The second report came in Thursday afternoon from Divers Direct at the 99.6 mile marker of the highway in Key Largo. That store discovered 11 BCDs and two dive gear bags, all made by Mares, slashed with a sharp object. That store said they’d had a notice from their corporate office as well.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to put all local dive shops on notice that this is taking place. Anyone who has information should contact our agency immediately. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.