CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Deputies in Charlotte County say two Port Charlotte residents stole a pair of chainsaws and then tried to sell them back to the victim.
On Saturday, October 12, the sheriff’s office was called to a home in Port Charlotte where a man found two chainsaws had been stolen overnight from a toolbox in his vehicle. The victim told deputies that he sent a text message to his neighbor, 36-year-old Rustin Rodgers, asking Rodgers if he knew anything about the theft and offering an $800 reward for information leading to the recovery of the chainsaws.
The sheriff’s office says Rodgers responded, sending a picture of one of the chainsaws to the victim and asking $1,000 for the return of both chainsaws. According to deputies, Rodgers also told the victim not to contact law enforcement.
After the victim called the sheriff’s office, detectives went to Rodgers’ home and say he turned over both chainsaws.
Detectives also developed an additional suspect, 34-year-old Mario Miller. Detectives say text messages between Rodgers and Millers shows they went for a walk through the victim’s neighborhood and shared pictures of the stolen chainsaws with one another.
Rodgers and Millers were arrested and both charged with Burglary, Grand Theft, and Dealing in Stolen Property.
Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell encourages victims of a crime to report it immediately.
“Timely reporting of a crime or a suspicious incident provides deputies the best opportunity to investigate what occurred,” stated Sheriff Prummell. “The victim in this case did the right thing by calling law enforcement right away, preventing additional burglaries by these suspects.”