A Key West man lifted more than $819 worth of jewelry while working as a janitor at the U.S. Navy base’s store, according to police reports.
James Joseph Rivas, 48, was arrested Monday after the safety manager at the Key West Navy Exchange , 815 Sigsbee Road, called police to report catching Rivas on video stealing merchandise from a jewelry case by using a dustpan as a stash for the loot, the arrest report states.
Rivas was jailed on suspicion of felony grand theft of between $300 to $5,000 worth of property for being accused of stealing five Marahlago Larimar pieces, ranging from $125 to $207 each. He remained at the Stock Island Detention Center on Tuesday without bond.
Rivas told police he stole nothing.
When an officer said he told him about the videotape recording of the Friday felony shoplifting spree, Rivas replied, “I was working at the warehouse on Friday,” Officer Michael Malgrat wrote. Rivas asked to view the videotape, but police said that wasn’t possible at the time of the interview.
Rivas had been assigned Friday to clean the area behind the jewelry case and police said the video captures him dropping items into a dustpan.
The merchandise didn’t leave the store property. Another maintenance worker found the $819 worth of jewelry inside a storage shed about 30 minutes after Rivas allegedly hid it there, police said.
A Stock Island man with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit was jailed for boating under the influence Saturday after police found him bayside of the Key Haven boat ramp headed toward the Boca Chica channel, a report states.
Michael Allen Paulin, 44, was in his boat spinning in circles, kicking up mud in his prop wash, next to a Sea Tow boat, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He was slurring his words, had bloodshot eyes and appeared confused, FWC said.
Paulin’s explanation, the FWC said: He was thrown from his Red Lund boat by a large wave and his vessel wouldn’t stop going in circles. Sea Tow saved his life and put him back on his boat, he added.
What Paulin may not have known: That SeaTow captain was off-duty FWC officer Middard Quad.
FWC officers handcuffed Paulin after he failed field sobriety exercises, put a life jacket on him and carted him back to the boat ramp in their boat. Paulin was released from jail the next morning without having to post a bond. His blood-alcohol level was 0.24 percent. In Florida, one is legally drunk at 0.08 percent.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen