Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 13-016

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • January 9, 2013
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piooffice@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Tips Lead To Recovery And Arrest

    A deputy's wife turns to social media and helped find a man's stolen boat.
    • Sunday
    • December 30, 2012
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • Hillsborough County


    David Smolen
    DOB: 11/21/1989
    1641 36th Street SE
    Ruskin, Florida


    • Grand Theft


    Jack Peek
    73 years of age


    On December 30, 2012, Deputy Robert Howard responded to Jack Peek’s Ruskin home in reference to a stolen boat. It appeared that the suspect simply untied the boat and fled in an unknown direction in the water. Deputy Howard learned that Mr. Peek has terminal cancer and that he loves to fish.

    Deputy Howard could not stop thinking about the devastating theft. He went home and told his wife about it. Unbeknownst to him, his wife posted a description of the missing boat on Facebook. In less than 24 hours, Deputy Howard’s wife received a Facebook message with a tip telling her where the boat could be located.

    Deputy Howard located the boat which had been stripped on New Year’s Eve. Deputy Howard personally returned Mr. Peek’s boat. On January 7, 2013, Deputy Howard received a tip to the whereabouts of the motor. The motor was recovered on January 8, from 1641 36th Street SE. Deputies arrested David Smolen and charged him with Grand Theft.

    Mr. Peek’s tackle box was also stolen but not recovered. So, Deputy Howard and his wife collected $200 and bought Mr. Peek a new tackle box and lures.

    Mr. Peek was thrilled to get his boat back. He plans to put seats back into his boat and to replace the stickers.
  • Sheriff David Gee
    Sheriff David Gee
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