Crime

Delray man again faces theft charge related to Keys contracting work

A Delray Beach contractor arrested Thursday on a grand-theft count for failing to complete a boat-lift installation in the Keys has a record of similar incidents, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office reports.

Peter O. Englund, 61, is accused of taking $1,500 from a Key Largo resident in March 2013 as a down payment for a boat lift.

"After that, he never showed up to do the work," agency spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin said. "Repeated phone calls from the homeowner got no response from Englund."

The complaint in Thursday's arrest is the fourth lodged locally against Englund since 2009, Sheriff's Office records show.

In 2009, a Key Largo property owner and a Tavernier resident accused Englund of taking a combined $14,300 and doing no actual construction on either project. Englund was arrested on grand-theft warrants in early 2010 after failing to respond to the customers.

Online records from Monroe County Circuit Court indicate that Englund agreed to a pretrial diversion program in the 2009 cases, but in 2012 was charged with failing to appear in court for a mandatory hearing. Those cases remain active.

A third incident from 2009 was settled when Englund repaid a customer's down payment.

"We cannot emphasize enough that before people turn their money over to someone, they really check them out," Herrin said.

Englund opened his Viking Marine company in Delray Beach in 2004 and closed it in 2009 or 2010. Florida corporate records list several active firms with "Viking Marine" in their names but Englund is not listed as an officer of any of them.

Englund posted a $10,000 bond Thursday and was released three hours after his booking.

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