MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Two men were arrested Wednesday for stealing at least nine personal watercraft and a paddleboard in Miami Beach, authorities said.
Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said the men were questioned earlier in the day about the theft of 17 personal watercraft that were reported stolen in the last two months throughout the city.
So far, detectives said they have tied the men to nine personal watercraft thefts and it's unclear whether other people were involved in the other eight cases.
The men were identified by police as Alejandro Alvarez, 20, of Hialeah, and Carlos Escutary, 39, of Homestead.
Surveillance video from a Star Island home showed two men on July 17 stealing a gray 2016 Yamaha WaveRunner FX/SHO series from the dock.
Another 2013 Yamaha WaveRunner was reported missing June 22 from a rear floating dock on Rivo Alto Drive.
A neighbor saw two men towing away the WaveRunner using a second WaveRunner, authorities said.
"Just last year alone, (the) Miami Beach Police Department arrested a ring of four individuals who went around doing the same thing," Rodriguez told reporters earlier this month. "(In) at least two of the cases, there are similarities in some of our video surveillance and still images, and that is something our detectives are pursuing."
Police believe that the thieves are stealing the personal watercraft for the parts.
"They steal them for parts," marine patrol Officer Duane Rezende said. "They take their motors, they supe them up these days. They go 100 mph, some of them. When they blow the motors, they just go take yours, take your motor, put it in theirs and they normally ditch the rest of it."
Police said the 17 stolen personal watercraft are worth a total of about $250,000.