One man has been arrested in West Vancouver after being discovered napping in a minivan with a stolen kayak on the roof, just days after several kayaks and paddle boards were pinched from a local yacht club.
West Vancouver police officers made the arrest Thursday (May 27) after being tipped that the stolen kayak had been spotted on top of a vehicle in a local parking lot. That was only days after pirates struck the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club, making off with a number of kayaks and standup paddle boards.
The kayak on the minivan was identified as one that had been stolen from the marina, said police.
The 56-year-old man was also found in possession of a stolen motor, said St. Mark McLean, spokesman for the West Vancouver Police Department.
He was released on conditions to appear in court in June. No charges have yet been sworn and West Vancouver police say the investigation is continuing.
Several kayaks and paddle boards were stolen from the yacht club between May 20 and May 24, said McLean, adding it’s possible the thief or thieves came in by boat at night.
“Certainly we’ve seen in the past, if people come in on a small power boat, they could tie a number of small craft to it and just drive away with them into the water,” he said.
Meanwhile, the owners of one of the stolen kayaks say they’ve done some online sleuthing on Craigslist and found other kayaks pinched from the marina still being offered for sale.
Jesse Dougherty said his wife’s 14-foot kayak was among those stolen from a kayak rack at the yacht club.
After being told the kayak had been stolen, the couple went online and noticed several posts flogging suspiciously similar kayaks, said Dougherty. When they emailed to ask for a photo, the picture they got back was of a very distinct kayak belonging to a friend, which had also disappeared from the yacht club, he said. It was also attached to the roof of a minivan.
But Dougherty said following the arrest this week, he’s continued to see ads for similar kayaks posted by a person with the same cellphone number online.
“He sent me pictures of kayaks on Eagle Island that were still on racks,” said Dougherty.
WVPD said officers are still investigating and following up on leads that the kayaks and other stolen property are being sold at an online marketplace.
The cost of kayaks and SUPs can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.