April 20, 1998
Two Arrested in Citrus Grove Thefts
TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced the arrest of two men in connection with the theft of aluminum ladders and irrigation pipe from citrus groves in St. Lucie County.
Terry Lee Kelly, 28, and Benjamin Gary Kelly, 44, both of Fort Pierce, were each charged with four counts of grand theft and dealing in stolen property. Bond was set at $15,000 on each charge.
The arrests were the result of a joint investigation between the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement, and the St. Lucie County Sheriffs Department.
According to investigators, the suspects entered several citrus groves in St. Lucie County, where they removed aluminum ladders and irrigation pipe during the past few months. The ladders were disassembled and the pipe was cut up and sold as scrap metal to a salvage yard. The stolen materials were valued at more than $5,000.
"We always welcome the opportunity to work with local law enforcement agencies to resolve agricultural crimes, which often occur in isolated areas and require extensive investigation," Crawford said.
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