Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin

Click here to read press releases on other Sheriff's Office events and occurrences

June 28, 2012

Two arrested for stolen vehicle, boat

Key Largo – Detectives arrested two men for stealing a Chevy Suburban and a boat in Key Largo early today.

Detective Francisco Gaete saw the Suburban towing a boat in the vicinity of Cabrera Street and U.S. One at 1:30 a.m. The boat trailer was closely followed by a white pickup truck. When he saw all the vehicles run a stop sign, and saw the trailer had no lights working on it, he stopped them.

42 year old Jeffery Hines of West Palm Beach fled the scene on foot when the detective identified himself as a law enforcement officer. He returned to the scene just minutes later on his own, however.

A check on the Suburban and boat revealed both had been stolen. The Suburban was stolen from the Holiday Inn hotel in Key Largo, and the boat from a residence on Cabrera Street.

Hines and the second suspect, 22 year old Stephani Baker Lake Worth, Florida, were both arrested. Hines was charged with three counts of grand theft, two counts criminal mischief, burglary, possession of burglary tools, theft and resisting arrest. Baker was charged with burglary, two counts of grand theft, criminal mischief and theft. Both were booked into jail.

June 21, 2012

Detectives need help locating boat theft suspect

Little Torch Key – A stolen boat has been recovered and Sheriff’s detectives say they need help finding the man they suspect stole it.

The 21 foot Angler was stolen from a home on Long Beach Road, Big Pine Key on June 16th.  Today, an employee of Tow Boat U.S. saw the boat at the Dolphin Marina on Little Torch Key. He recognized it and knew it had been stolen. He spoke with the two men on board, telling them he thought they were on a stolen boat. He asked them to stay there until law enforcement arrived to check it out.

Instead, the suspect, identified as 30 year old John Nydam, took off in the boat. The man with him, who later called the Sheriff’s Office, told detectives he confronted Nydam about the information about the boat being stolen, and told Nydam he did not want to be involved in the crime. Nydam pulled the boat to shore and both men got off; Nydam fled the area and the other man walked to a nearby house and called the Sheriff’s Office to report Nydam’s location.

Deputies and officers from Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, along with a K-9 Team from that agency, responded; they were not able to locate Nydam. The boat was recovered and returned to the owner.

Detectives are investigating. They are looking for help locating Nydam. They would also like to speak to a woman believed to be his girlfriend. They are asking that 22 year old Amber Rochon contact the Sheriff’s Office at 305-292-7060 so they can interview her in connection with Nydam’s actions.

Nydam is also wanted on outstanding warrants from Venice, Florida. He is 5-9 – 5’10” tall, thin with a goatee and with a tattoo of a sunburst on his left arm.

Anyone with information which could help this investigation should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips can be submitted on line at

Detectives need help identifying suspect

Monroe County – Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect who is believed to have burglarized two Radio Shack stores on June 12th in the early morning hours.

On June 12th at 1:45 a.m., deputies responded to the Radio Shack in Key Largo to an alarm call. When they arrived, they found a front window broken out. The suspect had done some damage inside, but it appeared he had to flee before he could take any property.

A few hours later, at 4 a.m., deputies responded to the Radio Shack on Big Pine Key to an alarm going off. When they arrived, they found the front window broken out and a number of items missing, including cell phones, digital cameras and GPS systems.

Photo of suspect in two Radio Shack burglaries.

Detectives Yunier Galvez and David Brummer, who were  assigned to investigate the cases were able to obtain photos of the suspect from surveillance cameras. He is described as a white male, 18 – 25 years of age, five foot eight to six feet tall wearing a long sleeve black shirt and multi-colored “board” shorts; they need the public’s help to identify him.

Anyone with information which would help identify the suspect in the photo should call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 305-289-2351. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime  Stoppers of the Florida keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller will be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips can be submitted on line at

June 20, 2012

Fire destroys building on Big Pine Key

Big Pine Key – Fire destroyed a structure on Big Pine Key overnight.

Deputies and Monroe County firefighters arrived at 200 Palomino road just after 3 a.m. to find the structure fully engulfed in flames. The structure houses two businesses – Big Pine Paint and Body and K and M Auto.

A neighbor called after hearing a lot of “popping” sounds; she told dispatchers when she looked out the door, she could feel the heat from 50 yards away. Another caller said he could see flames up over the trees.

The fire was extinguished by just after 4 a.m. The state and county fire marshal were both notified and will respond to the scene to investigate the cause of the blaze.

June 15, 2012

Shark bite reported on Summerland Key

Details are somewhat sketchy, but Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received a call at 2:22 p.m. about a victim who was bitten by a shark at a home at 987 Ocean Drive, Summerland Key. Monroe County Fire Rescue units responded to the call. When they arrived, they found an adult male victim with an injury to his calf.

Reports from the scene are that the victim was interacting with the shark – reported to possibly be a Nurse Shark – when the shark turned around and bit him on the calf. He was transported to Lower Keys Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

There is no further information to report.

June 11, 2012

Marathon man charged with sexual assault

Marathon – A Marathon man is in jail, accused of attempting to force a woman to have sexual relations with him Sunday in the early morning hours.

The 39 year old victim and a witness both told deputies they were at the Manor Lane home of 22 year old Tommy Alo when the incident occurred. They said they were hanging out with Alo and some friends when they decided to go to one of the bedrooms and have sex.

Afterward, as they lay in bed together, Alo entered the room. According to both the victim and witness, Alo jumped on top of the victim and attempted to have sex with her. She refused repeatedly; at one point, he reportedly grabbed her around the throat and pinned her to the bed during the struggle. The witness finally had to physically restrain Alo in order to allow the victim to escape. Another witness who was at the house at the time of the attack heard the victim screaming at Alo to stop and get off of her.

He and the victim left the residence and called the Sheriff’s Office for help just before 5 a.m. After interviewing everyone involved in the incident, Alo was arrested, charged with battery and sexual assault, and was taken to jail.

Four charged with short grouper

Four people were cited Saturday for possessing short grouper by a Sheriff’s Office Marine deputy.

Deputy Michael Cofield was on patrol near the Channel 5 Bridge when he saw a pontoon boat with five people on board. He approached and asked how the fishing was going. The group all said it was going well. He asked them to show him the biggest fish they’d caught – they proudly displayed a 21 inch red grouper. He asked them to show him the smallest fish they’d caught; they proudly displayed an obviously undersized red grouper. He finally asked them to show him all the fish they’d caught. They opened a cooler with six red grouper inside; only one was legal sized.

When he asked who had caught the fish, they replied that all of them had. He asked if they could each show him which fish they had caught, and asked if they wanted a picture taken with their fish. They all agreed; he handed them each their respective fish and took their pictures one at a time.

Four of them were cited for possessing undersized red grouper. All four were also warned for having no valid fishing license:

61 year old John Sala of Dania, Florida
47 year old Marcel Chiforan of Coral Springs, Florida
19 year old Erin Horvath of Hollywood, Florida
28 year old Marian Borz of Davie, Florida

June 4, 2012

Tennessee woman dies diving

Tavernier - A 64 year old woman from Monterey, Tennessee died Sunday while diving in a rock quarry in Tavernier.

Anne Morey was planning to dive with her husband, 65 year old Robert Morey in the quarry Sunday afternoon. Robert told Deputy Matt Koval they both got into the water together, but he discovered he did not have enough weight. His wife told him she would go ahead and dive to the bottom and wait for him there.

He got more weight and got into the water to join her about 20 minutes later. He found her about 40 feet deep in the quarry, not breathing.

He inflated her buoyancy compensator and managed to get her to the surface, but could not get her on shore. He called the Sheriff’s Office for help.

Deputies and paramedics arrived and she was transported to Mariner’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of her death.

Man dies snorkeling Saturday

Key Largo - A 66 year old man from Venice, Florida died while snorkeling offshore of Key largo Saturday morning.

John Dowicki and his wife, Nancy, were on a commercial vessel out of John Pennekamp State Park. Witnesses say Dowicki went into the water about 10 a.m. with a number of others, about five miles offshore at Grecian Rocks. Members of the vessel’s crew noticed him drifting away from the group. They yelled at him and threw him a drift line , but he was not responsive. The first mate went into the water and got him, but he was not breathing. When he was pulled onto the boat, they began CPR. When they reached shore, deputies and paramedics met the vessel. Dowicki was pronounced dead by paramedics on the scene.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.

June 1, 2012

Marathon man charged with robbery

Marathon – A Marathon woman called the Sheriff’s Office Monday morning to report being hit from behind and robbed on 24th Street.

The victim called to report the robbery at 5:20 a.m. She told Deputy Joshua Brady she was walking to buy cigarettes at the Tom Thumb Store when the incident took place. She was walking down 24th Street when she saw two men near a pool. She said hello to them and one of them replied by asking her for a dollar. She took money out of her pocket and handed him a dollar, returning the rest of the money to her pocket. She said she continued walking and was suddenly hit from behind, and knocked to the ground. She said the man who asked for the dollar was the one who hit her. She said her phone fell and broke on the ground and, once she got up, she realized her money was gone as well.

Sgt. Joel Slough and Deputy Todd Jones were also in the area, checking for suspicious persons who might have been involved in the robbery. They located two men who resembled the victim’s description of her attackers. The victim was transported to the area to look at the possible suspects. She was able to positively identify one of them as the man who hit her from behind; 22 year old Marcus Butler was arrested and charged with robbery and criminal mischief and he was taken to jail.

Diver’s body found

The body of a missing diver was found this afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard recovered the body of 62 year old Raymond Lent of Oswego, Illinois at 12:30 p.m. today. It was reportedly found about 15 miles out and 10 miles north of Davis Ledge, where he disappeared Thursday morning.

The body is being brought into the Coast Guard base in Islamorada; it will be turned over to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.