An alleged theft ring has reportedly been operating in Martin County, Florida, for at least a month. According to authorities, theft ring participants have been targeting boating equipment, such as outboard motors, and staging them for pickup. Due to tips of activity worthy of investigation, as well as the efforts of a K-9 law enforcement team, three men are now in jail in connection with at least one of the alleged incidents.
Each of the three men arrested now faces charges on multiple felony counts. Authorities continue to investigate the case but have not indicated whether they believe there are more individuals involved in the alleged theft ring.
A tip regarding suspicious activity prompted surveillance of the Dockside Marine in Melbourne, Florida, on South Harbor City Boulevard on a Tuesday evening. Authorities claim to have observed the three men arriving at the location in two different vehicles. Reportedly using a method similar to a previous theft in the same area, one of the men allegedly kept watch from the second vehicle while the other two cut the fence and proceeded to remove motors and other equipment from boats. The two men then enlisted the help of the third to move the items, according to reports from law enforcement
When the authorities moved in, the three men allegedly tried to hide after fleeing the scene. Arrests occurred after a search of their compound, although there are no specifics available regarding what law enforcement found there.
The estimated value of the stolen equipment amounts to thousands of dollars. Because the price of stolen items can increase the severity of charges, individuals charged with theft may find it worthwhile to seek representation from an attorney.