A Craig’s list ad listing a stolen boat motor for sale led to further charges in connection with a boat theft case on Duck Key in August of 2015.
The 17 foot Action Craft boat on a trailer was stolen from a home on Duck Key in August of last year. Video from the entrance to the Duck Key community led to the arrest of the owner of CBD Construction, Inc. – 30 year old Carlos Davalos of Homestead, Florida. Davalos was arrested September 21st and charged with two counts of grand theft for stealing the boat and trailer.
On September 23rd, the boat was recovered in Lehigh Acres, Florida. It had been abandoned and burned. A receipt from a Dollar General store was found by arson investigators nearby. Video from that Dollar General store led investigators to 28 year old Marcos Martinez of Homestead. When interviewed, Martinez said he knows Davalos because he cuts Davalos’ hair. He said he was paid by Davalos to bring the boat to Lehigh Acres. He said he was there when the boat was stripped of valuable items and then burned.
Martinez was subsequently arrested in Miami-Dade County on October 1, 2015 and charged with possessing stolen property.
Last week, in a new development, the victim of the stolen boat, trailer and motor spotted his stolen motor, a 2002 115 hp Evinrude, on Craig’s List and called the lead investigator, Detective Michael Sielicki. Detective Sielicki called the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit to assist him with setting up an undercover sting operation on the person selling the motor. The seller, who said his name was “Jesse”, confirmed over the phone he was selling the motor for $2,500.00. He gave the undercover operative his address in Florida City.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted with this portion of the investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Homeland Security Investigations.
Investigators went to the address to view the motor, ostensibly to purchase it. Once there, they observed the serial number had been removed from it. They offered “Jesse” $2,300.00 for the engine and he accepted their offer. Further investigation turned up a second serial number on the engine that had not been removed. It was confirmed the motor was the one stolen with the boat and trailer from Duck Key.
“Jesse”, identified as 31 year old Jesus Cruz of Florida City, was taken into custody by FWC. Florida City Police also responded. A check on his name showed he is a convicted felon and is wanted on a number of active felony warrants. He was also found to be in possession of a firearm, which his wife turned over to officers. Cruz was booked into jail in Miami-Dade County, charged with dealing in stolen property, use of a two way communications device to facilitate a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of property with an altered serial number.