Bay man charged with boat thefts

A TIN Can Bay man was remanded in custody this week on four charges of unlawful use of a vessel after police located him on a $200,000 houseboat that had been reported stolen.

It was believed the luxury houseboat was taken from its moorings on March 21 and run aground on a sandbank 200 metres from its Tin Can Bay mooring.

Police arrested Shaun Bruce Alec Walker, 20, on board, and he was taken to the police station where he was charged with stealing and damaging the houseboat, and with trespassing at the marina.

While Walker was in police custody, detectives charged him with two more counts of unlawful use of a vessel, two more of trespassing and one of operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, as Walker was allegedly intoxicated when officers located him on the houseboat.

It was also alleged that he had taken two other vessels on previous occasions – a 5.3 metre Sharkcat with 115 horsepower outboard motors sometime between February 26 and March 1, and a Polycraft 4.1 metre open boat with a 25 horsepower motor on March 4.

The matter was adjourned for one month for police to seek repair quotes for damage to the houseboat and a Snapper Creek navigation marker.

The court heard there was significant damage to the starboard lateral marker used for navigation, and to the hull and fittings of the house boat.

In Walker’s application for bail, duty solicitor Greg Wildie said his client could be at risk in prison because of his slight build and young age.

He said issues that may cause the magistrate to keep him in custody could be addressed through bail conditions.

But police prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns said Walker had already been given the opportunity of bail.

“He signed (bail) and since that day has committed (these) 10 offences,” she said.

“There are substantial amounts of restitution sought. Similar type damage to the marker has previously cost up to $10,000.

“The houseboat is valued at $200,000 and for two hours the engines were revved to try and get it off the bank – these are serious offences.”

Walker was remanded to April 19.

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