A theft of fishing equipment was prevented Sunday when an alert witness confronted the suspect, causing him to flee.
Deputies Jon Riggs and Shawn Steele responded to the Big Pine Fishing Lodge at 6:30 a.m. to a report of someone trying to steal fishing poles. When they arrived they talked with a witness who said he saw a man walking near the docks, out of the camping area, carrying a large number of fishing poles. He said the man was attempting to put the fishing poles into a vehicle and they wouldn’t fit. He said he confronted the man, who then got into the vehicle and fled. A second vehicle fled the area as well. The two vehicles appeared to be traveling together.
The deputies found the fishing poles the suspect was trying to steal in a pile on a picnic table. They found the victim, who was staying in one of the camping lots. He identified the poles as his.
A notice to be on the lookout was issued for the vehicles that fled the area, but they were not located. They were a dark colored Ford Explorer and an unknown type silver car.
Sheriff Rick Ramsay would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to lock up their fishing and diving equipment and electronics. This week is the two day sport lobster season and there are many people in the Florida Keys visiting with lots of boats and boating equipment. Along with all the visitors are thieves here to prey on them. Don’t leave your equipment on the boat overnight or on the dock to dry. Don’t leave it outside your house either – people drive around neighborhoods at night just looking for items to steal.