Trio Charged in Connection with Boat Theft

NEWS RELEASE 17-177 - JULY 21, 2017

Giddings, Kasandra    Smith, Edward (2014)    Robert, Michael
Giddings                                          Smith                                              Michael

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office charged three people for Grand Theft Over $100,000 early Friday morning.

Detectives began their investigation Saturday when the victim reported his 2015 Sportsman 247 boat missing from his driveway. As leads developed, detectives obtained surveillance video from two nearby businesses which captured a silver Ford F150 towing the boat and being followed by a light-colored Toyota Tacoma. The next day, a boat matching the description was found in Manatee County partially submerged and stripped of its parts. While speaking with the victim, detectives noticed the Toyota Tacoma from the surveillance video parked nearby, and registered to Robert L. Michael II, DOB 2/21/75. At the same time, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip that Edward J. Smith, DOB 08/15/76, was selling stolen boat parts from his residence at 4512 101st Street East in Bradenton, and may have been involved in the theft.

Detectives working in partnership with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, conducted surveillance on Smith’s residence Wednesday, and found the same vehicles from the surveillance video parked at the home. A signed search warrant was executed and led detectives to recover miscellaneous boat parts stolen from the victim. During an interview with a resident, detectives learned that Smith, Michael, and a woman named Kasandra Giddings, DOB 07/01/87, were all connected with the theft. With the new information, detectives interviewed Michael and Giddings and through evidence and admissions, connected both to the crime.

Michael and Giddings remain in custody today with bonds of $20,000 each. Michael is also charged with Driving with a Suspended Licensed which carries a $120 bond. A warrant has been issued for Smith’s arrest.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.