Boat theft in Schooner Cove caught on video

RCMP have recommended charges against a 40-year-old Vancouver Island man who is slated to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court on Nov. 25

A boat stolen out of Schooner Cove Marina has been returned to its rightful owner after a Craigslist ad helped track down the culprit.

Marina manager Greg Dunn said the Schooner Cove community “will not stand for it (stealing).” Dunn explained in mid-August an 18-foot aluminum boat was stolen from the marina overnight. He estimates it was worth approximately $15,000 to $20,000.

“We captured the theft on video and presented it to the police,” said Dunn, adding the suspect also stole a trailer from the marina’s upper lot to haul the boat out of the water and transport it.

Dunn said in conversation with the RCMP it was decided that he would post an ad on Craigslist with pictures of the culprit loading the boat out of the marina with his pick up truck.

The ad read: “August 17th at 3 a.m. a boat stolen from Schooner Cove marina … 18 foot center consul welded aluminum lifetimer with a 50 Hp Yamaha … We have the whole theft on video and need help identifying the culprit. Please call of you have any information.”

Dunn said the Craigslist ad spurred a lot of tips and “paved the way for the whole thing.”

By way of the tips Dunn received, he was able to work with RCMP to identify the culprit.

“Through the strength of public pressure, because people had recognized this fellow and said ‘they are looking for you,’ he turned himself in,” said Dunn. “Through interrogation he (the suspect) said he sold the boat in Chilliwack.”

Dunn said the RCMP was able to recover the stolen boat in Chilliwack and it was returned to its owner last week.

Dunn said the boat owner is a longtime Schooner Cove customer.

“He just retired (from teaching) and his boat was the cornerstone of his retirement,” said Dunn. “He loves to go fishing and (when it was stolen) it was like he lost his best friend.”

Dunn said when the boat was returned, the owner was “elated.” Dunn said stealing isn’t a common occurrence at Schooner Cove Marina.

“Things go missing from the marina from time to time but they are usually little things, not a big thing like this (the boat),” he said. “That’s the word I’m trying to get out — if you steal from us (Schooner Cove) we have cameras and we won’t stand for it.”

Dunn said this story is an example of the tight knit community working together to support one another.

“If you’re thinking about stealing from Schooner Cove — just don’t,” he said.

Oceanside RCMP Const. Daryl Pawluk said this instance serves as a good example of community members partnering with police to identify a suspect. Pawluk said the RCMP has recommended charges against a 40-year-old Vancouver Island man who is slated to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court on Nov. 25.