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Alert residents coral suspected boat thief

Alert residents coral suspected boat thief

With the help of a group of outstanding members of our local marine community, Sunshine Coast RCMP have arrested a male on charges of stealing sailboats twice within one week.

During the late afternoon hours of Aug. 13, a couple observed a sailboat pull up to a Gibsons fuel dock. After recognizing the boat as belonging to their family member and confirming no one should have the boat, they called the RCMP, who attended and arrested the male, 26 year-old Stan Prisajny. The boat was confirmed stolen from Deep Cove in North Vancouver.

Prisajny was subsequently charged with two counts of theft and two counts of possession of property obtained by crime, after it is alleged that he also stole a paddleboard from a rental shop in Deep Cove. On Aug. 15, Prisajny was released on a Recognizance of Bail.

It is alleged that on the following day, Aug. 16, Prisajny purchased a small inflatable boat from a store in Sechelt, then used it to row over to a sailboat docked 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 searched the area but did not locate the suspect.

On the morning of Aug. 17, a resident from Gale Avenue North in Sechelt reported that his 26’ sailboat had been stolen from in front of his residence. 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 Skookumchuk Narrows. 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 attended and again arrested Prisajny for theft and possession of stolen property. He is now facing new charges and remains in custody.

“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 Cst Harrison Mohr with Sunshine Coast RCMP. “It’s kind of like stealing a steam roller…you’re not going anywhere fast. Thanks to the keen eyes and diligent efforts made by those in our marine community, these stolen boats are being returned to their owners, and this male will be held accountable for his actions. They really took the wind out of his sails.”

A red and white fiberglass kayak was also located on the sailboat, but did not belong to the sailboat owner, so police believe it was likely stolen from Sechelt Inlet as well, possibly near Gale Avenue North. If you believe it is yours, please contact Sunshine Coast RCMP at (604) 885-2266, file #16-5305

Submitted by RCMP

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