Surf boards stolen – local man arrested

City of Fernandina Beach Press Release

Chance T. Bennett

Submitted by James T. Hurley

An unusual coincidence, and a little investigative pressure, caused a would-be thief to re-evaluate his options.

Chance Bennett, twenty-two years of age of Fernandina Beach, Florida was arrested last night by Fernandina Beach Police Officers on an active arrest warrant for Grand Theft and Dealing in Stolen Property after five surfboards, including a very pricey and irreplaceable collector’s board were stolen from the Pipeline Surf Shop on Sadler Road.

On June 24, 2012 Bennett carried the surfboards out the backdoor of the surf shop and staged them out back until he was able to leave the surf shop without suspicion and drive to the rear of the building to retrieve the boards.  The total value of the surfboards was over $5,700.00.

Bennett went out of his way to unload the stolen merchandise, traveling to a surf shop in St. Augustine on July 2nd where he attempted to sell the surfboards to shop employees.  Bennett was captured on video at the Aqua East Surf Shop in St. Augustine in possession of the stolen collector surfboard.  Fortunately, a bystander recognized the unique board and called the owner at Pipeline, who confirmed the board had been stolen.

As pressure mounted, Bennett decided to undo his offense, opting now to return the collector surfboard to an employee of the Pipeline Surf Shop, leaving the board in his driveway at home with a note announcing that the remaining boards would be returned to the shop if the criminal charges were dropped.

On July 7th the other four surfboards were located by Fernandina Beach detectives at a pawn shop in Duval County.  Bennett had used his ID when he pawned the four surfboards and he was also captured on the store video surveillance cameras.

August 1, 2012 5:15 p.m.

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