Florida man arrested for stealing ex-employer's street sweeper 'to do a job' with competing company: deputies

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A Florida man is now behind bars after he allegedly took a stolen street sweeper for a spin, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office. 

Kevin Rodriguez Aponte was arrested last Thursday and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle. 

A lawn care business owner told deputies his street sweeper was stolen from the shop that is operated out of the 14600 block of Northeast 150th Ave., according to an arrest affidavit. Surveillance video from the business showed a pickup truck in the driveway and someone wearing a gray hoodie under an orange reflective vest walking around the street sweeper. That personas seen touching the street sweeper before it was taken from the property, deputies said. 

The business owner said Rodriguez Aponte, 29, was a former employee and he believes he may have taken the street sweeper, the affidavit states. That's because "only somebody who is trained would be able to operate the street sweeper, and he suspected that (Rodriguez Aponte) had taken the sweeper to use at his own business," the report said. 

He "separated" from the business about six months ago after an argument about him wanting to start his own business and taking contracts with him, the report continued. 

Rodriguez Aponte was reportedly told in the past to not return to the business or use any equipment, but on Sept. 27, he called to ask to use the street sweeper and was denied, deputies said. 

Photo: Marion County Sheriffs Office


Deputies found Rodriguez Aponte and the street sweeper near the intersection of East Hwy 316 and NE Hwy 315. A traffic stop was initiated and Rodriguez Aponte was detained. 

In a post-Miranda interview, Rodriguez Aponte said he did not have permission to use the street sweeper but needed it to do a job in Ocala and was going to return it. 

He was transported to the Marion County Jail where he posted $2,000 bond and was released.