MARATHON, Fla. – A 30-year-old Miami man was jailed in the Florida Keys after authorities say his plan to steal a commercial fishing boat in order to head back to Cuba hit a serious snag Monday.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, a Marathon man reported that his 40-foot fishing boat was stolen that morning and said one of his former employees, Cristian Torres Perez, had recently quit “and had been talking about returning to Cuba as he disliked living in the U.S.”
Hours after reporting the vessel stolen, the U.S. Coast Guard contacted the victim and told him his vessel’s emergency beacon was activated about 50 miles south of Key West, authorities said.
According to the sheriff’s office, Coast Guard crews spotted the boat broken down and stranded in the water and Torres Perez waving his arms for help.
A tanker picked up Torres Perez and he was taken to Key West, officials said.
Torres Perez faces felony charges of larceny and burglary. Jail records show he’s set to be arraigned on Nov. 18.