Published: May 11, 2012 3:25 PM EDT
Updated: May 11, 2012 4:33 PM EDT

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's deputies arrested a North Port man in Punta Gorda this morning at 2:09 a.m. who was wanted for theft of two Jet Skis and a trailer stolen three weeks ago in Port Charlotte. Tommy Gene Richardson, of 1499 Hempstead Avenue, was arrested for the crime.

CCSO received a call April 20 by the owner of the two 2006 Yamaha VX Deluxe Jet Skis and trailer to report they were missing from her property and valued at $15,000. A deputy remembered the night before, a witness a block away on Allworthy Street, called CCSO to report a suspicious older blue van driving with lights out about midnight pulling a trailer with two Jet Skis. A deputy contacted the caller who said he heard a loud noise outside and saw a van and trailer with Jet Skis. The witness got in his car and followed the van into North Port on Yorkshire Boulevard to get the license tag number. The witness said the van stopped at the overpass on I-75, the driver got out and asked the witness what he wanted. The witness said he wanted to get his tag number and give to the Sheriff’s Office. The man ran back to his van and drove off.

A CCSO helicopter was called to fly the area and located the trailer and two Jet Skis abandoned in a wooded area off Coastal Street in North Port. A check of the license tag on the van came back to Richardson and a BOLO was issued. Richardson could not be located until a deputy spotted him this morning in the van on West Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda.

Richardson was arrested and charged with two felony counts of Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle. He was taken to the Charlotte County Jail where he remains on no bond. He was also charged with Violation of Probation on a previous charge of Dealing in Stolen Property. This is his third booking.