Stolen boat found dumped on roadside

By Kristin Edge

A stolen boat and trailer has been discovered dumped on the side of the road inside a gated community in Northland but minus two outboard motors.

An observant member of the public phoned police early yesterday after seeing the $50,000 boat featured on the front page on the Northern Advocate this week just inside gates on Mangakino Lane, off Vinegar Hill Rd near Whangarei.

Officers recovered the 5.8m Naiad boat about 8.30am and towed it to a yard in Whangarei, where it was dusted for fingerprints and forensically examined.

Onerahi community Constable Aaron Furze said no arrests had been made but police were interested in hearing from anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity or the boat being towed in or around the Tikipunga area late on Wednesday or early yesterday morning.

It is thought the boat was dumped just inside the gates between midnight and 6am yesterday but police suspect it was stored elsewhere after being stolen from the driveway of a Manganese Point home on about December 8. The boat may have been transported with a grey-coloured cover.

While the two 90hp Yamaha outboard motors were missing, the owner was delighted to hear his red and white custom-made boat had been found.

"This is going to be their first summer in Whangarei and they were really looking forward to getting the family out on the boat over the Christmas break," Mr Furze said.

He said the fact someone reported the boat to police indicated there were people in the community prepared to help others out.

"There are people out there who look out for each other,"

He reiterated a warning to boat owners to keep their boats secure following about six boat thefts in the Onerahi area over the past two months.

Meanwhile, the owner of a small tinnie left on shore at Taiharuru has been found.

He contacted police after a photo appeared in the Advocate.

Three weeks ago, a man was seen swimming the boat ashore.

No one returned to collect the boat that was carrying a tent, clothing, a bag and the lid of a suitcase. Police confirmed the man had engine problems and had just failed to collect his vessel.

Onerahi Constable and police search and rescue team member Spence Penney said it highlighted the need to carry alternative means of propulsion in boats and to have communication, either via marine radio or mobile phones.

- Northern Advocate

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