Police say a Marathon man stole a Sea Doo after September’s Hurricane Irma then moved it around the city for months before being arrested Tuesday.
Matthew Sanchez, 21, reportedly told people on Dec. 8 at a house on James Terrace he’d stolen the personal watercraft, according to Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Adam Linhardt.
Deputies didn’t find Sanchez there, but they did find two watercrafts parked on the property with Florida registration numbers that indicated they were not stolen, Linhardt said.
“After the deputies left, dispatchers found an incident report from Oct. 3 where an owner called to report one personal watercraft and trailer stolen from the Niles Channel Bridge between Sept. 15 and 17, which turned out to be one of the two personal watercrafts from the earlier report,” he said.
The owners said they last saw their Sea Doo damaged in a ravine along with its trailer near the Niles Channel Bridge on Sept. 15 after the storm. She and her husband were unable to retrieve it and when they returned two days later it was gone, Linhardt said.
On Dec. 10, when deputies returned to James Terrace, they found the Sea Doo and trailer in question had been removed from the property and they were again unsuccessful in locating Sanchez, Linhardt said.
It was later found in front of a business in the same condition the couple originally found it in, he said.
After being arrested Tuesday, Sanchez was booked at the Stock Island jail for grand theft and released the same day.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219