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June 10, 2013

Stolen pontoon boat creation results in charges for designers

Live Oak — It generated quite a bit of interest on the river, but a pontoon dock that was turned into a boat and retrofitted with a motor and Jeep cabin, was stolen.

Robert Lee Alvord (DOB 06/29/82) and Kenneth W. Rehberg (DOB 02/24/83), both of Branford, were charged with grand theft for stealing parts for their boat/dock Jeep special, which was created by installing a Jeep Cherokee chassis on a section of a pontoon dock, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers.

An alert had been sent out to FWC officers about the stolen pontoon dock, which had gone missing from a residence on the Santa Fe River several weeks ago. If the stolen property was located, officers were asked to contact the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office because the sheriff’s office was investigating the theft.

FWC Investigator Terrynce Bing realized he had conducted a boating safety inspection on the unique craft a few days prior to the alert being sent out. He had given a citation to the operator because the vessel was unregistered and was powered by an outboard motor. Bing checked out the description of the stolen dock in the alert and realized that the craft he had cited matched the distinguishing characteristics of the pilfered pontoon dock.

Bing contacted the two men, who admitted they had taken the dock. Alvord told Bing that his unique vessel was very popular on the river and had received plenty of comments.

The pontoon dock was valued between $400 and $600. The custom work was removed and the dock returned to the rightful owner in its original condition on June 1.

“This case is a great example of how the FWC and the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office work together to solve cases in the area,” said FWC Lt. Tim Kiss, Columbia County patrol supervisor.

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