Marathon couple accused of stealing generator from church, selling it to pawn shop

St. Columba Episcopal Church loaned generator to couple after Hurricane Irma


MARATHON, Fla. – A Marathon couple is spending the weekend in jail after they stole a generator from a Florida Keys church, deputies said.

Lawrence Shoquist, 52, and Renee Shoquist, 51, were arrested Friday on charges of grand theft, fraud and dealing in stolen property.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, St. Columba Episcopal Church lent 12 generators, each worth $500, to parishioners in December because of lingering power outages caused by Hurricane Irma.

For each generator on loan, a church representative put the borrower's name on an index car and affixed the barcode from the box to the back of the card to keep track of them all.

In May, the church representative realized that the Shoquists had not returned their generator. When he contacted the couple, Renee Shoquist sent him a text message that they had been using the generator on their boat and that it had been misplaced or stolen. She said she never reported it to authorities.

The church representative was at a Marathon pawn shop Tuesday when he noticed the generator for sale. It was identical to the one lent to the Shoquists in December, except for the barcode that had been cut from the box.

Deputies later learned the generator had been sold to the pawn shop by Lawrence Shoquist for $200.