Gibsons Harbour

Police say last Wed-nesday morning, Aug. 17, a Sechelt man reported that his 26-foot sailboat had been stolen in front of his residence on Gale Avenue North in West Porpoise Bay.

“RCMP relayed the description of the stolen boat to numerous businesses throughout Sechelt Inlet. Within a couple of hours of word getting out, staff at a gravel pit near Egmont saw the boat going through Skookumchuck Narrows,” police said in a release.

“A boat operator nearby followed the boat as it pulled into an Egmont marina. After the suspect got off the boat, a group of good Samaritans prevented the male from leaving until police arrived.”

RCMP arrested the suspect for theft and possession of stolen property.

It was the second time in four days that the same suspect had been arrested on the Sunshine Coast for stealing a sailboat.

On Aug. 13 in Gibsons Harbour, a couple recognized a sailboat pulling into a fuel dock as belonging to a family member. After confirming that the boat had not been lent out, the couple called the RCMP, who arrested the 26-year-old man in possession of the boat, which had been stolen from Deep Cove in North Vancouver.

The man was charged with two counts of theft and two counts of possession of property obtained by crime, as he had also allegedly stolen a paddleboard from a rental shop in Deep Cove.

The accused was released on Aug. 15 on a recognizance of bail. The next day, police allege he purchased a small inflatable boat from a store in Sechelt, then rowed over to a sailboat tied up at the Government Wharf in Sechelt Inlet.

“He then seemingly had trouble starting the motor and partially took it apart in an effort to get it going before giving up and leaving the area,” police said.

An RCMP search of the area failed to turn up the suspect, but the next day, after the sailboat was stolen in front of Gale Avenue North, they re-arrested the man in Egmont.

“Not only did this male allegedly steal two boats and try to steal a third, he specifically sought out sailboats, which obviously are not known for making a quick getaway,” said RCMP Const. Harrison Mohr, comparing the thief’s choice of targets to  “stealing a steam roller,” as “you’re not going anywhere fast.”

Mohr praised “the keen eyes and diligent efforts” of members of the marine community that led to the boats being returned to their owners and the suspected thief being apprehended.

“They really took the wind out of his sails,” he said.

A red and white fibreglass kayak was also located on the sailboat, and police believe it was likely stolen from Sechelt Inlet as well, possibly near Gale Avenue North.

Stan Prisajny of no fixed address has been charged with the thefts from Deep Cove and, as of Aug. 19, was facing new charges while remaining in custody.

 

 

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Source : Coast Reporter Net