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Old 02-03-2009, 20:33   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
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Ambitious Thieves Steal 24m Cat

Thieves try to pinch 24m catamaran, leave it in nearby yard | The Courier-Mail

Thieves try to pinch 24m catamaran, leave it in nearby yard

By Robyn Ironside

March 02, 2009 11:00pm

AN audacious attempt to steal a 24 metre, one-of-a-kind catamaran worth more than $1 million almost succeeded, amazing its designer.

The huge boat was taken from its shed at New Wave Catamarans' Hemmant factory in Brisbane's east early yesterday.

Security camera footage from a nearby business captured the cat being towed down the street on a truck at 1.30am but despite its formidable size, it initially appeared to have vanished.

It was only hours later that police discovered the vessel parked in the lot of a haulage business, just 1.5km away from the factory.

New Wave directors Paul Birgan and Peter Cavaliere were out on the water at the time searching for the catamaran when police rang with the good news.

"The police were fantastic," Mr Birgan said.

"They did a great job to find it.

"It appears the company had no idea it was stolen and had moved it from the back of their yard to the front where it was clearly visible from the road. These must be the world's dumbest criminals."

Mr Birgan said it had been a shock to find the shed where the catamaran was being built empty when workers arrived yesterday morning. "It's not the sort of thing that can just be mislaid. We just couldn't believe it," he said.

"We've never had anything like this happen before."

Police investigations into the theft revealed a dispute over ownership of the vessel which was originally commissioned by a Sydney-based company.

However Mr Birgan said there was no dispute over who owned the catamaran, and his company was currently negotiating with another buyer.

"It will probably end up in Sydney. We've got two similar vessels there already working in the harbour, doing the Circular Quay to Manly route," he said.

Late yesterday police arrested a man at Cleveland, southeast of Brisbane, and charged him with entering a premises and stealing the vessel.

He will appear in Cleveland Magistrate's Court at a date to be fixed.

Mr Birgan now faces the tricky task of getting the catamaran back to the factory for more work, and repairs.

"They even went to the trouble of cutting off the top to fit it under powerlines," he said.

"It's going to cost us quite a bit to get it back."
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
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