Man arrested for stealing items from damaged boat  

A 43-year-old Cutler Bay, Florida man was arrested on Monday for stealing $4,500 worth of fishing gear from a sinking boat.

Christopher Peter Suda was charged with grand theft and burglary.

The incident occurred on March 8 when the victim ran his 48-foot boat into some mangroves in Tavernier. The victim — who lives in Texas and is not familiar with the area — contacted a friend to pick him up as the boat was taking on water. The friend picked him up, they left the scene and the victim contacted a marine tow company to retrieve his vessel.

The tow company responded. A man in a 28-foot boat then appeared at the crash site. The man, later identified as Suda, tells the marine tow captain he knows the boat owner and begins taking fishing gear from the damaged boat. The tow captain takes pictures of the suspect and his boat number, which is later used to find and identify Suda.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Sheriff’s Office detectives spoke to Suda several times after the incident. His story changed several times, including whether he actually took any items, he eventually admitted to possessing the gear.

Warrants were issued for Suda’s arrest.

Suda was booked into jail on Monday.