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 December 3rd, 2009  
Fort Lauderdale man steals two trucks and a boat and is caught Wednesday night after a three-hour series of pursuits, St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara announces
 
A Fort Lauderdale man with a lengthy criminal record added 10 new crimes to the list after stealing two trucks and a boat and leading law officers on a three-hour series of pursuits before his arrest Wednesday night, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

It wasn't 44-year-old Manual Castellanos' lucky day.

K-9 teams from the Port St. Lucie Police Department were in the middle of a training day when the call came to search for Castellanos. The teams played a key role in finding Castellanos, said Sheriff Mascara.

"St. Lucie County deputies, members of the Florida Highway Patrol, a Sheriff's helicopter team and K-9 teams from the Sheriff's Office and Port St. Lucie Police Department all participated," Sheriff Mascara said. "We thank the Port St. Lucie Police Department and its K-9 teams, one of which apprehended Mr. Castellanos bend 9680 Landings Way, Port St. Lucie."

The pursuit began when an employee of Top Notch Marine, 2450 North U.S.1, Fort Pierce, noticed a truck pulling a boat away from the business Wednesday night at a time when the business was closed. He notified authorities.

Later that night, a deputy at Orange Avenue and I-95 spotted Castellanos driving south on I-95. The truck Castellanos was driving had been stolen in Vero Beach Sept. 30. Deputies stopped the truck a mile north of St. Lucie West Boulevard. Castellanos jumped out and ran west into some woods.The stolen truck had a license tag on it from a car stolen in Broward County.

Deputies and Highway Patrolmen formed a permiter, and the K-9 teams were called into action.

By this time, Castellanos had broken into another business, E-Z Loader, at 462 N.W. Commerce Centre Drive, in St. Lucie West, near I-95. He stole a truck from that business. When a deputy manning a preimeter on Commerce Center Drive, tried to stop Castellanos, he threw the truck into reverse and sped away.

After Castellanos drove into a traffic gate outside a residential neighborhood, he jumped out of that stolen truck and ran off. A Sheriff's helicopter located Castellanos as he jumped into a pond and swam across it.

A short time later, a Port St. Lucie Police K-9 team apprehended Castellanos.

He now faces eight felonies and two misdemeanors from his Wednesday night crime spree.

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