Trio arrested after Kootenay Lake boat heist

Three men are now in custody after attempting to steal a boat on Saturday.

Three men are now in custody after attempting to steal a boat.

On Saturday, Nelson RCMP received a call of a theft of boat in progress. A resident of Nelson’s North Shore, watched as a man drove away in his aluminum boat while two other men were in a separate boat.

One of the boats appeared to have trouble and at one point looked as if one boat was towing the other.

A member of the Kaslo detachment happened to be driving by, stopped and witnessed the two boats with the complainant and provided updates as to their location.

Cpl. Michael Stefani from the Nelson detachment drove to Macdonald’s Landing where the two boats could be seen heading up the Lake.  Two members from Conservation, Jason Hawkes and Ben Beetlestone who were conducting angling checks on the Main Lake, overheard the broadcast, and redirected their efforts to assist.

The police officers watched as the three men loaded into one of the boats and left the other behind.

The Conservation Officers met police on a wharf along the 3000 block of Highway 3A and picked up the police officer. The three then headed up the lake and caught up to the stolen boat just off of Crescent Bay. The three males initially pretended to not see the boat, but eventually stopped.

The trio was placed under arrest, handcuffed, placed in lifejackets and taken on board the CO’s boat.

The suspects were taken to Kokanee boat launch, with the recovered stolen boat being towed behind.  One of the males during this voyage became belligerent and attempted to sit up to jump out of the boat and had to be physically restrained for a period.

The suspects were eventually transported to Nelson RCMP cells.

“This was an amazing piece of teamwork from two neighbouring RCMP detachments and local conservation officers. The conservation officers were instrumental in providing the police with the ability to gain access to the water in such a short time to apprehend the thieves,” said Stefani.

As the investigation unfolded it was determined the second boat that was used and left was also stolen out of Creston. The thieves actually tried to sink the vessel, seemingly just for fun. The conservation officers again went above and beyond by tracking the boat down, which was partially submerged, removed the outboard motor for safe keeping and were able to tow the boat across the lake so it could be recovered by the police.

All three individuals have been charged with theft, and possession of stolen property with one of the culprits having also been charged with obstructing a police officer as he lied about identity. All three will appear in Nelson court in December.

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