JUPITER, Fla. - Three men have been arrested in connection with the theft of Jupiter police vehicles and firearms, according Sgt. Scott Pascarella, spokesman for Jupiter Police Department.
The joint-investigation between the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and the Jupiter Police Department led to the arrests on Wednesday of 23-year-old Blake Walters and 32-year-old John Bauman, both of Boynton Beach, Sgt. Pascarella said.
Walters and Bauman have been charged with grand theft of firearms and dealing in stolen property.
Christopher Vachaviolos, 24, of Juno Beach, was arrested on Saturday and originally charged with loitering and prowling and possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon. On Wednesday Vachaviolos also was charged with seven counts of burglaries, Pascarella said.
After Vachaviolos arrest, police armed with a search warrant entered his home in the 12000 block of Ellison Wilson Road and found 15 firearms, including high-powered rifles, a large amount of ammunition and magazines.
Police also recovered from the house other stolen police items, including a gas mask, handcuffs, police batons, flashlights, badges, bags and gun cases, as well as a camera, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for PBSO.
Between December 2012 and May 2013 the Jupiter Police Department investigated the burglaries of seven vehicles involving the theft of firearms. Five of the burglaries involved five marked and unmarked police vehicles and several semi-automatic handguns and automatic rifles, as well as other police-related equipment. The two non-police vehicles also involved the theft of firearms. The majority of the vehicles were stolen in and around Abacoa, said Sgt. Pascarella.
Sgt. Pascarella said with these arrests a total of 22 high-powered rifles and other firearms were recovered and numerous burglaries were cleared.
Bauman, Vachaviolos and Walters are in custody in the Palm Beach County Jail