Reward offered for stolen boat

By Peter de Graaf

A substantial, four-figure reward is being offered for the recovery of a boat thought to have been taken in a professional heist in the Bay of Islands.

The 7.7-metre Bluefin 769 Wheelhouse was stolen from exclusive Paroa Bay, near Russell, between September 8 and 11.

Also taken was a 2007 Sportline 770 tandem trailer, registration K188U. The un-named boat, which has a navy blue hull and white cabin, was equipped with two silver-coloured Yamaha 115hp outboard motors.

The combined value of the boat, trailer and outboards is understood to be close to $100,000. It belongs to a well-known Far North businessman and farmer.

Kevin Byrne, of Professional Investigators NZ, said the boat's insurers were putting up a substantial reward for information leading to the boat's recovery. He believed it had been taken by professional thieves and was still in New Zealand.

"They won't be able to hide it. It's a fairly particular boat, there's not a lot of them in the country."

The Whangarei-based private investigator was also contacting boating clubs and marinas around the country to get the word out. His company would monitor ads, for years if necessary, in case anyone tried to sell items from the boat.

He urged anyone who had seen the boat, or had any information about its disappearance, to contact him on (09) 436 5540 or 021 237 3819.

Constable Mike Gorrie, of Russell police, said the boat and trailer were taken from a secluded property accessed by a long drive. It was possible the thief or thieves were familiar with the area.

He urged anyone with information about the boat's whereabouts or the thieves to call the Russell station on (09) 403 9090 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- Northern Advocate

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