Deputies: Man with friend’s stolen fishing rods, caught by friend at pawn shop

— Keith Miller was at the right place at the right time.

His friend, Alexander Armando Martin, was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Specifically, Martin, 45, was at the same pawn shop as Miller while attempting to pawn three fishing rods he had recently stolen from Miller, according to an arrest report.

On Oct. 1, Miller entered Capital Pawn, 1933 Davis Blvd., and noticed that Martin, his longtime friend, was in the store as well, the report said. When Miller greeted an obviously nervous Martin, reports said he noticed that Martin was trying to hide fishing rods behind his back.

Later, while Martin was talking with a clerk and attempting to pawn the rods, Miller approached and noticed the rods were his, reports said. The rods have the name of Miller’s boat -- which is also his daughter’s name -- etched into them.

First, Martin attempted to convince Miller that he’d loaned him the rods. Deputies say that when that didn’t work, Martin admitted to stealing the rods, and begged Miller not to call law enforcement because he was already on probation.

Martin promised to repay Miller, reports said, as soon as he received an inheritance check. He then fled the shop, leaving behind the rods, which are worth about $1,250.

Miller told investigators that since the beginning of the year, he’s had 27 rods and reels, worth about $11,250, taken from his shed on Snook Drive. A pawn transaction database indicated that Martin has recently pawned 25 items, many of them rods and reels.

On Tuesday deputies arrested Martin, of the 1300 block of Curlew Drive, Naples, and charged him with grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

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