More charges for boat-theft suspect in the Upper Keys

July 5, 2014 

A pair of GPS units stolen in June navigated deputies back to scenes of the crimes.

A Cutler Bay man, already in custody on charges of trying to drive off with a 26-foot boat in Key Largo, now faces several more felony counts, Monroe County Sheriff's Office reports say. Giovanny Lluis, 39, remains in the Monroe County jail with no bond allowed.

Lluis was first arrested at 3:45 a.m. June 14 when Deputy Vaughn O'Keefe stopped a red Chevrolet pickup truck near mile marker 97. The truck was towing a trailer carrying a 2003 HydraSports boat with twin 200-horsepower outboards, a package estimated to be worth more than $30,000.

The trailer's rear lights were off and the deputy saw clues suggesting the boat had been hooked to the truck in a hurry. When reached, the boat owner confirmed the trailer and boat had been stolen from a Peace Avenue residence, just off U.S. 1 near mile marker 94. A trailer lock had been cut off.

With Lluis in custody on a grand-theft charge and a count of driving on a suspended license, Detective Yunier Galvez continued the investigation.

After getting a warrant June 18, Galvez searched the impounded pickup and found two marine global-positioning systems, each worth several hundred dollars. He also found bolt cutters, tools, flashlights, gloves, a cooler, a depth sounder and an assortment of fishing tackle.

The two GPS units were powered up with help from marine Deputy Nelson Sanchez and a Keys Marine Supply technician.

The navigation systems dialed up their home coordinates and pointed officers to a Plantation Key home on Villa Bella Drive in Venetian Shores, and to a Peace Avenue home down the street from where the boat was stolen. At both residences, the owners said GPS units and other items had been taken from their boats.

Galvez listened to a monitored telephone call Lluis made from jail and concluded the suspect was trying to find a buyer for the GPS units.

New felony counts lodged June 20 and July 1 against Lluis include dealing in stolen property, grand theft, burglary of a vehicle and possession of burglary tools.

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