Hialeah man caught stealing personal watercraft in Key Largo, deputies say

Lazaro Cruz, 20, arrested during traffic stop

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

KEY LARGO, Fla. - A Hialeah man was arrested early Sunday after he was caught towing a stolen personal watercraft, authorities said.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Lazaro Cruz, 20, was pulled over at mile marker 105 on the Overseas Highway just before 1 a.m. Sunday because the taillights on the trailer the personal watercraft was on were not working.

Herrin said the deputy asked Cruz if the personal watercraft belonged to him, and Cruz said that he was towing it for his friend, "Albert."

A check on the personal watercraft's registration identified the owner as Carlos Pla, of Miami, Herrin said.

The deputy called Pla and asked him whether he had allowed anyone to use his personal watercraft.

Pla told the deputy that he hadn't given anyone permission to use it and it should have been parked at his second home, in Key Largo, behind a closed gate. Pla said he had a golf cart parked in front of it to prevent it from being stolen.

Herrin said the deputy went to Pla's home and found the gate propped open and the golf cart parked across the street.

Pla responded to the scene of the traffic stop and identified the personal watercraft and trailer as his.

Cruz was arrested on two counts of grand theft.

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