Crime

He stole a tiny house 10 months ago, cops say. He’s got a tiny cell now

A 52-year-old Bradenton man was charged Thursday with the theft of a custom tiny house that occurred a few days before Christmas in 2018, but it wasn’t the only stolen item found on his property, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Pedro Ruiz-Aguayo entered the victim’s property in the 200 block of 13th Avenue East in the overnight hours of Dec. 14, 2018, and stole an 8-foot-by-19-foot tiny home trailer.

Ruiz-Aguayo repainted the tiny home from brown to white in an attempt to disguise it, but that’s not what got him caught, deputies say.

On Sept. 18, detectives were notified via Lo/Jack of a stolen skid steer and responded to 812 66th Ave. W., where the skid steer was located and recovered. Deputies made contact with Ruiz-Aguayo, who gave consent to search the property, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives say they found a stolen golf cart, a trailer and another golf cart reported stolen out of Bradenton Beach.

Deputies returned to the property the following day and found several other stolen carts and trailers, according to the sheriff’s office.

Ruiz-Aguayo had attached the custom tiny home to his existing house and wired it for power, deputies say.

TinyHouse.jpg
A tiny home that was stolen in December of 2018 has been recovered and the thief has been captured, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Provided Manatee County Sheriff's Office

The sheriff’s office said deputies recovered two skid steers, two golf carts, a construction generator with lights, four trailers and a stage set, all of which were returned to the victims.

Detectives, through their investigation, said they found images and data on Ruiz-Aguayo’s cellphone linking him to the stolen property and that he visited the website that promoted the tiny house trailer.

Detectives also say “additional charges are expected” for Ruiz-Aguayo.

He was booked into the Manatee County jail and charged with two counts of motor vehicle theft and remained in custody pending a future court date.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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