Tisbury police recover stolen tools, track suspect to Brazil

Tisbury police recover stolen tools, track suspect to Brazil

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Part of the collection of tools Tisbury police said Jaime Botelho stole and packed in a crate destined for Brazil. — Steve Myrick

When local contractor Luiz Oliveira went to the Tisbury police station to report a saw, a planer, a router, and various hand tools stolen from a job site on Stonegate Road, he already feared the worst. He told police he knew one of his subcontractors, Jaime Botelho, 47, had stolen tools from a job site in the past and had them boxed and shipped to his native country prior to returning to Brazil. He also knew that tools owned by a number of other contractors and the homeowner on the site were missing, and he knew that for the past three weeks, Mr. Botelho had talked about returning to his native Brazil.

Mr. Botelho had told Mr. Oliveira that he had changed, according to the police report. In turn, Mr. Oliveira hired him and recommended Mr. Botelho to other contractors. But when Mr. Oliveira’s tools went missing, he told police, he immediately suspected Mr. Botelho.

As Officer Jeff Day began to investigate, the list of possible missing items began to grow. He talked to Mr. Botelho’s roommate, who said that Mr. Botelho had arrived on the Island about two months ago with nothing. He acquired a moped, then a van, then began bringing tools home to the apartment he rented in Tisbury. He also brought home electronics, including a digital camera, video game consoles, laptop computers, and mobile phones, according to the police report. His former roommate told police that Mr. Botelho took a flight back to Brazil on April 24. Police discovered he took his van off the Island some time before that. Police later discovered Mr. Botelho was not the registered owner of the van, which is registered to an Everett man.

Police contacted more contractors, and the list grew longer. One contractor told police that Mr. Botelho had been buying tools on his account at a local building supply store that were now missing. Another told police Mr. Botelho tried to sell him his work van, but didn’t want to sell any tools because he was going to ship them to Brazil where he said they were worth three times as much as in the United States. That contractor later discovered some of his own expensive power tools missing.

“He was on a mission,” Officer Day said. “He knew that he was going back to Brazil in two months, and he was collecting as much bounty as he could.”

Based on information that Mr. Botelho intended to ship his tools off the Island, police checked local shipping companies. Officer Day said employees at Island Star in Tisbury found an invoice for a 48-inch high cardboard box, ready for shipment to Eugenopolis, Brazil. The invoice listed the weight of the shipment at 410 pounds, and the cost to ship it at $410. It was signed by Mr. Botelho on April 19. The box was still in a West Tisbury warehouse owned by Island Star waiting for shipment.

Police got a search warrant from Edgartown District Court, seized the box, and brought it to the West Tisbury police station. Inside, they found hundreds of tools and electronics, including a table saw, 14 power saws, 4 power drills, power sanders, routers, nail guns, batteries, computer equipment, and hundreds of small tools and parts. Of the 14 items reported stolen by three different contractors, only seven were identified from the contents of the box. That leads police to believe that other job sites were raided, and other stolen tools were already shipped or transported off the Island. Police are following up with Everett police to see if any of the tools might still be in that community.

Out of the hundreds of recovered items, only a few had names painted or etched into them. Among them were Leo, Bryan, the initials JS, and Tileworks. Police are trying to track down the owners.

“Lesson learned,” Officer Day said. “Put your name on your tools.”

Police will seek an arrest warrant for Mr. Botelho, and issued summons for a variety of larceny offenses, and receiving stolen property. They are not optimistic about apprehending him, but distributed a picture of him taken from his Facebook page, in case he returns to Martha’s Vineyard for a third time.

According to police, a check of Mr. Bothelo’s court records revealed a list of arrests on Martha’s Vineyard and in Everett dating back to 2005. According to Officer Day, he was arrested four times on the Island from 2005 to 2008. Three of those were for driving offenses, the fourth for assault. He also faced an assault charge in Everett. There are open arrest warrants for Mr. Botelho from the Everett Police Department, and the Middlesex Superior Court. Police records also show he was previously deported because of his criminal record.


  1. Curious to know more about this thief’s earlier driving offenses- Unlicensed Operation, perhaps? What is Mr. Botelho’s immigration status? The possibility of his being an illegal alien would not strain the imagination too much.

    Can there be any question now about the harm these uninvited interlopers wreak on the livelihoods of the citizens of our island? How many times now have we seen foreign criminals RETURN to Martha’s Vineyard to continue victimizing us with impunity?

    The law can’t or won’t protect us. The time has come to address this problem, and the individuals responsible for it, with FINALITY.

      1. Like… the child molester deported to Brazil, who decided to re-bless us with his presence? The law is a joke. Let the People solve this problem.

        1. I’m not sure what law you are referring to here that is a “joke”. Possibly you mean the lack of enforcement of immigration laws?
          Background checks should be compulsory for employment and housing with large penalties for failure to comply.

  2. Then there were those “good kids” who had over fifty thousand dollars of stolen equipment a couple of years ago. A thief is a thief, no matter where they are from.

  3. Not only have they come to our country illegally, drive illegally, work illegally, cause damage to our property, businesses and citizens, send all their money back to their country, make our island justice system look like a joke,deplete our health services, when deported or told to leave come right back illegally – now we find again that they are still steeling all our legitimate workers tools and equipment and sending them back to their country! All I can say is that no matter how often some of have complained about all of this and have seen not one thing being done “You islanders deserve what you have gotten you have no one to blame but yourselves and that is why we took our children, sold our home for peanuts that we worked so hard to save you many years to build ourselves and left our native island and am so glad every time I read both island newspapers online especially the court dockets! Our children who were once quite sad about leaving are now very happy and grateful and like us only miss the beaches!

    1. i think you are wrong right there quote “you islanders deserve what you have gotten you have no one to blame but yourselves ” sounds like you have a few other issues… the islanders are not the ppl who change this place its the rich who come from offisland call thereselves islanders and this home and they bring / hire offisland compines and illegals to get everything cheaper, take over boards and meetings , and make it to their fantasy island .. years and years ago the island people kept there money here and offisland ppl who came were happy to spend it, now the tides have turned and alot of the islanders take the back seat to everything and have no voice this place was so different only ten years ago and it sad that the lifestlye of living off the land and working together is pretty much extinct my grandfather is probally rolling in his grave

  4. My goodness they take our jobs, our housing, our services and now our tools. *Poor Martha*

    It was stated, “Next time he tries to come into the United States he’ll be arrested,” – And then what, continued to pretrial conference, then continued without finding for one year, must pay $90 VW, asked to please return to his native country `again` and asked to please refrain from dong this behavior until he decides to leave.

  5. Wow this is something funny here on those comment !everyone saying a lot .. about this guy how stoled the tools .hello guys the man how went to the police station is also a Brazilian , them here we see two immigrants: one doing the right thing and no one give shit about he’s attitude .the times should post pictures of both them