NORTH PORT — Two men have been arrested in the theft of about $6,385 in equipment from the North Port High School baseball team in mid-November. North Port Police Capt. Tony Siriani announced in a release early Thursday morning that Joshua Douglas Luff, 19, and Edward Lee Brandon Hignutt, 18, both of the 6400 block of Lapidus Road in North Port, were arrested Wednesday at 4 p.m. and have been charged in the theft. The theft occurred on Nov. 14 when school security cameras revealed two then-unidentified people walking through the ball field at 5 a.m. They are later seen again on camera leaving the area with a large equipment bag and several baseball bats. A silver SUV was also captured on video leaving the school with the suspects. NPPD released the images of the two men and the vehicle earlier this week.
According to police, the suspects tried to break into a larger shed at NPHS by smashing a window but couldn’t get inside. Instead, they broke the lock and door of a smaller shed, creating about $1,000 in damage to both units before taking the equipment, which included 24 metal and wooden bats, 200 baseballs, gloves, a radar gun — alone worth $1,000 — a catcher’s mask, shin guards, chest protector and more, some of which was the personal property of NPHS baseball team members. Both Luff and Hignutt admitted to the thefts, the release states, and have been charged with burglary and grand theft. They are both currently being held in the Sarasota County Jail on $8,500 bond. The equipment is in the process of being recovered, according to Siriani.
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