Thieves have an audacity about them, since what they do is inherently risky. But two Hialeah men allegedly dialed it up several notches Friday night when they reportedly made off with a 48-foot flatbed truck in Marathon using a semi-tractor trailer to haul it away before being caught.
That was followed a day later by the arrest of another man who's accused of stealing a 32-foot trailer, also in Marathon. All suspects in the unrelated cases were found and arrested up the Keys because friends of the victims interrupted their alleged crimes.
Charged with grand theft in the Friday case are Augustin Rodriguez, 37, and Dayro Alonso, 35, both of whom list their occupations as truck driver.
Police reports say the flatbed -- its model wasn't listed -- was parked on the bayside of the former Quay complex around mile marker 54. A forklift was on the bed.
Around 10:15 p.m. a friend of truck owner Paul Sweeney, owner of Global Disaster Services Inc., called Sweeney to tell him the two men took his truck by towing it with a Kenworth semi. The friend had approached the suspects before they drove off but they told him they were supposed to tow the flatbed, reports from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office say.
Sweeney called the Sheriff's Office and a be-on-the-lookout notice was put out. Deputy Donald Stulken saw the truck northbound on U.S. 1 around mile marker 69 and, since he was working an escort detail, notified other deputies.
Deputy Nick Whiteman was a mile north and saw the truck, and pulled behind it, then stopped it around mile marker 79 with other deputies. Rodriguez, the Kenworth's owner, was driving the semi. Alonso was in the passenger seat.
Reports say Alonso told deputies Rodriguez had asked him to come down and help get a trailer. In the police car, Rodriguez reportedly asked Alonso, "Did you say what I told you to say?"
Both men have been released from jail pending court proceedings.
The next day, Alex Luis, 26, of Miami was busted for allegedly stealing a boat trailer with a dinghy on it from the area of All Keys Glass, near 92nd Street, a little after 9 p.m. Saturday
Luis reportedly used a 1999 F-350 to take it. But as in the Friday case, someone who knew the owner of the trailer saw what was going on and asked Luis if he had bought it. He ignored her and took off.
She called the trailer owner, who asked her to call police. As in the previous case, a BOLO was issued and Deputy Orlando Alvarez spotted the truck and trailer northbound at mile marker 61. He got behind the truck and followed it until Sgt. Ralph Williams joined in and they pulled it over at mile marker 80.
Luis is charged with grand theft and possession of burglary tools (bolt cutters, a sledge hammer and gloves were in his truck). He's also charged with attempted grand theft for allegedly trying to steal another trailer from Summerland Key early in the night.