More Suspects Arrested in Major South Florida Boat Theft Ring

Police say a father-son duo were the ringleaders of the theft operation

More suspects were arrested Tuesday as authorities continued to crack down on a major boat theft ring in South Florida that they say was run by a father and his son.

Luis Sanchez Rodriguez, 21, Christian Martinez-Amor, 22, and Yerandy Machado, 29, were all arrested Tuesday on charges including racketeering, conspiring to racketeer and grand theft, Miami-Dade jail records showed.

Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office officials said the arrests are part of "Operation Knot Yours." Two more men, identified as 27-year-old Roberto Torres and 35-year-old Alejandro Saez-Garrido, remain at large and face similar charges, officials said.

On Monday, undercover officers arrested father and son William Baez-Cartalla, 48, and William Baez-Valdes, 22, on similar charges. Miami-Dade Police said the men are part of a large boat theft operation that has been plaguing Miami-Dade and South Florida for months.

According to police, the group is responsible for a number of truck and boat thefts, and have been under investigation since April. The suspects would steal a truck they could use to tow the stolen boats, then drove around looking for vessels to take, targeting mostly boats with twin motors.

The stolen boats were brought to a home where they were stripped of expensive parts by Baez-Cartalla and Baez-Valdes, and then later dumped, police said. A boat's GPS system that would normally cost $5,000 would be sold illegally for about $2,500, police said.

At least nine boats were stolen by the suspects, and another four attempts were made, police said. At least five trucks were also stolen by the crew.

"It has a far reach, especially being South Florida, we're surrounded by water, so it's got a big impact," Miami-Dade Police Lt. Michael Barrios said. "It's a big problem."

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