Boat thief’s attempted escape, rescue broadcast live on Facebook


Deputies say a man in Charlotte County took off with a stolen boat and crashed it into a sandbar Thursday morning.

It was the last thing Robby Simmons ever expected.

“Come out to fish this morning…not knowing I was gonna be a crime stopper today,” he said.

Early Thursday morning, Charlotte County deputies cornered Bruce Donohew. And Simmons was there to capture his dramatic arrest on Facebook Live.

Donohew was stuck on a sandbar as deputies closed in on him. The 35-year-old then decided to swim away.

Donohew didn’t get too far, however. A Charlotte County helicopter was even helping capture the suspected thief.

Deputies say he also tried to steal three other boats from the Freedom Boat Club, and another from the Mack Law Firm.

Donohew was taken to the hospital. He told deputies he was in the water for a long time.

He now faces charges of grand theft and violation of probation.

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