SARASOTA — Brothers Andrew Berberich, 24, of Bradenton, and Spencer Berberich, 19, of Sarasota, were each charged with felony burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and felony dealing in stolen property after police say they were caught on camera stealing a 35-pound brass boat propeller Aug. 23 from The Condominium on the Bay at 906 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota. They allegedly sold the propeller to a local recycling plant, which also was caught on camera, according to the Sarasota Police Department.
Andrew Berberich was also charged with felony defrauding a regulated metals recycler.
Spencer Berberich remains behind bars at the Sarasota County jail, however, Andrew Berberich bonded out and is now charged with stealing kayaks in Lee County less than a month later.
Estero River Outfitters in Lee County reported had eight kayaks stolen Sept. 11 valued at nearly $20,000. The victim told detectives he found some kayaks resembling his by searching Craigslist.
A witness reportedly told detectives he first met Andrew Berberich when he bought a kayak from him Aug. 24. The witness said Berberich called him Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 asking if he wanted to buy more kayaks.
The victim met with the witness Sept. 14 in Sarasota and told him the kayaks were stolen. Sarasota police officers were called and the witness immediately turned the kayaks over to the victim.
The witness met with detectives again Sept. 16 at the Sarasota Police Department, providing a series of text messages allegedly coming from Andrew Berberich. The text messages indicated he would pay money if the witness wouldn’t call the police.
A sting was set up where the witness agreed to meet Berberich. Berberich arrived in a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser, the same car seen driving away in the propeller burglary in August. Another kayak was strapped to the top of the car.
Berberich has been charged with felony dealing in stolen property and felony tampering with a witness. He’s facing other charges, including larceny grand theft, from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Detective Maria Llovio at 941-364-7336 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-8477) or online at sarasotacrimestoppers.com.