Three alleged boat thieves led law enforcement officials on a high-speed chase off the Florida coast for nearly 20 hours before they were captured by the Coast Guard, authorities said Sunday.
The action started about 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve when the suspects rammed a local sheriff’s office boat and took off with the stolen 36-foot vessel capable of speeds up to 75 miles per hour, the Lee County Sheriff’s office said.
“It was like something out of a James Bond or Mission Impossible movie,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said at a press conference, according to the Fort Myers News-Press.
The alleged thieves were able to outrun law enforcement at first, but they were pursued for over 300 miles into the night and detained off Mexico after they gave up, authorities told the newspaper.
David Llanes Vasquez, 33, Vidal Farfan-Ramirez, 23, and Raul De La Vega Sauri, 25, were arrested on multiple charges including burglary and larceny. The boat, which is worth $350,000, was later returned.