A man’s plan to sell kayaks he’s accused of stealing was capsized by the Cape Coral Police Department.
On June 1, the victim reported that two kayaks were stolen from the backyard of his home in Punta Gorda.
On June 12, he located his own kayaks on Facebook Marketplace and began a conversation with the seller.
Using the Facebook profile and cross-referencing with public information, the victim was able to find a home address in Cape Coral and contacted Cape Coral Police.
Detectives with the CCPD Property Crimes Unit arranged a controlled buy of the kayaks to recover the property and make arrests. In the detective’s Facebook communication with the suspect, the suspect offered two additional kayaks for sale, and a search of recent thefts revealed a second matching crime with a different victim in Cape Coral.
A meet was arranged, and undercover detectives met with the suspect, Christopher Michael Moorhead, 24.
The detectives bought four stolen kayaks, and once the transaction was complete attempted to arrest Moorhead. He then ran away but was chased down and captured by the detectives.
All four kayaks were returned to their rightful owners. Moorhead was arrested and charged with dealing in stolen property, theft, and resisting an officer without violence, as well as for outstanding warrants. He was transported to the Lee County Jail.
CEP John Paeno of CGT Kayaks in Bonita Springs told us Friday he’s keeping extra locks on his kayaks after he too fell victim to a stolen kayak.
“We got some heavy-duty, carbon steel chains,” Paeno said. “You really can’t cut them, heavy-duty locks.”
Earlier in the week, one of his kayaks and a paddleboard vanished
“Somebody came in here, and they had to cut the cable and lock that we had here with bolt cutters and pull one of the boat and a paddleboard,” Paeno said. “And they took it out to the water and got away with it.”
Paeno told us he doesn’t know why people are stealing kayaks, but he points to the high demand.
“There is a record number of kayaks being sold right now because of the pandemic,” Paeno said. “Well, that peaks people’s interest in kayaks, and some people who can’t afford or don’t want to buy a kayak, they find other ways to acquire them.”
CCPD says, in order to prevent thefts like this from happening, the best thing to do is lock up your kayak and store it some place secure. Police say, if you do put it in your backyard, try to place it somewhere where it can’t be seen.
Moorhead remains in custody at Lee County Jail.