The police have charged two men who allegedly took part in stealing a boat from a private residence in Florida while Hurricane Sally was impacting the area.
On October 2, the owner of a 13-foot Boston Whaler notified the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office to let them know that his boat was not where he left it and he suspected it had been stolen.
The man said that his vessel was stuck in the water in an area near his home after it was flooded during Hurricane Sally when it went missing.
On the evening of October 12, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was in the area of the Marquis Basin Boat Ramp in Milton.
The officer reportedly spotted a boat with malfunctioning lights nearing the ramp.
A male and female were allegedly on the vessel, which the agent reportedly identified as a Boston Whaler.
The woman reportedly got off of the boat, and when she was on land the officer believed the man was trying to leave in the vessel asked him to remain at the dock.
Though the man was identified as Joseph Montgomery, the registration of the boat displayed a different name.
Upon further investigation, it was purported that the boat might have been the one that had been reported stolen on October 2, and the agent asked Montgomery to clarify why he had the vessel.
Montgomery reportedly gave a statement and allegedly admitted to taking the boat, but claimed that his friend Charles Varnadoe took part in the heist as well.
Both Montgomery and Varnadoe reportedly signed official statements about their purportedly illegal acquisition of the boat.
On November 4, Varnadoe was placed under arrest and booked into the county jail on a $15,000 bond. He is facing charges for suspicion of grand theft during a state of emergency.
At this time, the authorities are still searching for Montgomery, and there is a warrant out for his arrest.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.