ST. LUCIE COUNTY - Three Miami men were arrested after apparent efforts to steal a trailer from an address on Kings Highway by using a tractor with a stolen license plate, according to affidavits released Tuesday and sheriff's officials.
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office deputies on Sunday went to an address in the 800 block of South Kings Highway on a stolen auto call. They encountered Abraham Sanabria, 37, and 28-year-old Arsildo Leon, both of Miami, near a red tractor in the middle of a business park entrance.
Sanabria said he had no papers for the tractor, but that the owner — his friend — would be back soon and would supply the registration. Deputies learned the tag on the tractor was registered to a Vero Beach woman and that she suspected it was stolen from the business where she works on South Kings Highway.
Yunier Alvarez, 28, of Miami, pulled up in a sedan and said he owned the tractor, but didn't have the registration.
A man drove up and told deputies that earlier he'd seen the tractor hooked up to a trailer, which had a special "piggy-back forklift" attached, at a business in the 800 block of South Kings Highway. Minutes later, he said, he heard the tractor drive away. He said he saw the same tractor about 40 minutes later when he left his business. He identified Sanabria as the driver.
The owner of the business where the trailer sat told deputies the trailer had been moved 2 to 3 feet.
Sheriff's Detective Deron Brown on Tuesday said he suspected the men were trying to take the trailer and moved it a bit during the attaching process. They might have gotten spooked and the tractor broke down as they were leaving.
"That's when deputies pulled up and caught the two of them there," Brown said.
Brown also said investigators found signs suggesting the tractor could be stolen, but they haven't been able to positively determine that.
Leon, whose license was revoked, declined to speak with investigators. After a short conversation, Sanabria declined to answer questions. Sanabria's and Alvarez's licenses are expired.
The men did say they are friends and do business together. They said they came to St. Lucie County to bring the tractor to Miami.
The men were arrested Sunday, each on at least eight felony charges, including grand theft, burglary and larceny.