Florida Keys

Two men accused of stealing fencing in Florida Keys

Darwin Velasquez (left) and Romnel Zelaya
Darwin Velasquez (left) and Romnel Zelaya Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

Two men were arrested as they were leaving Monroe County with three rolls of fencing material stolen from a construction project on Card Sound Road, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

A passing motorist saw a van parked on the shoulder of the road in a construction zone at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, deputies said. The passerby noticed three large rolls of construction fencing material in the back of the van and reported his findings to Ocean Reef Public Safety because “he thought it was suspicious.”

Officials at Ocean Reef Public Safety notified the sheriff’s office.

Deputies stopped the van northbound on Card Sound Road and spoke to Darwin Velasquez, 39, of Homestead and Romnel Zelaya, 22, of Palm Springs separately.

Both claimed to have been coming to the Keys to go fishing, police said, but realized they had forgotten their equipment once they arrived.

Each blamed the theft on the other, police said.

The tags found on the rolls of fencing matched those on fencing material found at the construction site.

Velasquez and Zelaya were arrested, charged with grand theft and booked into Monroe County jail.