Eight boats burglarized in the Lower Keys the past week

Eight boats were burglarized in the Lower Keys the past week, indicating there could be a possible connection among the break-ins.

Wednesday, four Cudjoe Key residents living in the area of mile marker 21 reported to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office they were victimized. All the owners' boats, on 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue and Hamilton Avenue, were on davits, Deputy Becky Herrin said.

Reported stolen were four Garmin GPS units, three Garmin chart plotters, a Garmin radar array, a SeaStar helm, a steering wheel, four batteries and some rods and reels.

The day before, four boat break-ins were reported at the Hurricane Hole Marina on U.S. 1 on Stock Island. Surveillance video caught part of the crimes, Herrin said.

The marina manager reported that more than $6,000 worth of rods and reels were taken. The surveillance video shows two people believed to be the suspects at around 2:40 a.m.

Detective Sheila Seago, the lead investigator, said while the suspects' faces are covered in the video, she hopes someone will recognize something to indicate who they are, perhaps distinctive clothing or something recognizable in the way they walk.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 292-7060. Tipsters who want to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys at (800) 346-TIPS. If a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward.