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Old 05-05-2012, 18:44   #31
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

IMO, the "real" crime was setting it adrift, intentionally or otherwise. Being drunk is no excuse and yes I might have done some dumb things when in that condition but hey, I was lucky and didn't get caught! I also didn't to my knowledge cause any personal or material loss to others. It was only by chance this couple recovered their dinghy.

If you are "unlucky" are doing some drunk act, then man up and take it on the chin.

In this case, the guilty were thrown reprieve and it would be interesting to know what they did with it. Walk away not looking back or thanking the couple and offering some meaningful help to them or whatever.

The value of the dinghy is a red herring and doesn't deserve further comment.

FWIW, I had an outboard motor stolen from my dinghy while cruising; long story short, I reported it, it was found on another dinghy under a wharf a few days by some other friendly cruisers, I reported it found but was told by police I couldn't touch it or remove it until they "investigated". I gave them a couple of hours and then took my motor home, the oars in the other dinghy had also been stolen so I returned them to their rightful owners, took the other dinghy into "custody", checked every other boat in the anchorage and put up notices in the waterfront areas and after six weeks took the other dinghy back home (a thousand miles away) and sold it.
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Old 05-05-2012, 18:52   #32
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Thursday a drunk ran down a young mother in a crosswalk, doing 80 in a 30. I wonder whether he was let off some crime in his past because he was young and drunk.

Just a thought.
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Old 05-05-2012, 18:57   #33
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I agree tough call. Because two of the A holes were serving in the military were drunk and stupid and just needed a ride but, did not plan on keeping the dink. And because it was found. I would tend to not press charges. But, I would ask the Police officer to hold them for a few days until just before they were due back to their base. I'd like it to make sure their fun time is over for the rest of their R & R.
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Old 05-05-2012, 18:58   #34
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

So let me get this right, the owners left their dingy unlocked, with the key in the ignition at a strange (to them) dingy dock. I would say maybe Karma already did work in sending them a wake-up call. They got their dingy back after a few hours of kicking themselves in the rear for such a stupid attitude. I don't even leave my dingy unlocked,where we don't have a problem with theft, at my home marina, . It is their call to make and not for me to second guess them. Hope they will now adopt a more responsible attitude how they leave their boat, dingy, and how they dress as they cruise in foreign ,to them, ports.
I would have a talk with the 3 of them with the sheriff and judge what to do as a result of that talk. Maybe the world is now a little smarter with 5 less stupid people.
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Old 05-05-2012, 19:10   #35
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PEACETIME View Post
So let me get this right, the owners left their dingy unlocked, with the key in the ignition at a strange (to them) dingy dock. I would say maybe Karma already did work in sending them a wake-up call. They got their dingy back after a few hours of kicking themselves in the rear for such a stupid attitude. I don't even leave my dingy unlocked,where we don't have a problem with theft, at my home marina, . It is their call to make and not for me to second guess them. Hope they will now adopt a more responsible attitude how they leave their boat, dingy, and how they dress as they cruise in foreign ,to them, ports.
I would have a talk with the 3 of them with the sheriff and judge what to do as a result of that talk. Maybe the world is now a little smarter with 5 less stupid people.
Because it was new doesn't make boating to Two Harbors strange to them. They are life long boaters to Catalina. How'd ya get that conclusion?

I rarely,, if fact can't remember seeing anyone lock their dingy except me.
I have a custom enclosed Stainless cable with the special saltwater lock from West Marine.
I lock it through the motor because motors are much easier to steal than the whole dingy.
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Old 05-05-2012, 19:54   #36
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

You are right that I miss read the OP and assumed that they were new to cruising. Guess it was that they left a key in the ignition and the dingy unlocked at the dock that threw me. If they are life long boaters and this is the very first time they have experienced a theft of their property then good for them. I do as YOU do and lock my dingy everytime everywhere. I cannot afford to insure, let along replace, my dingy and engine. You must admit that by leaving the KEY in a unlocked dingy is not a prudent practice anywhere. Too bad but it is what it is and we have to lock up everything to protect our investments. Glad they got their property back as that is usually not the case.
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Old 05-05-2012, 20:02   #37
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Pretty funny that most people want to kill Somali pirates with .50 cal machine guns but a few drunk American kids get the benefit of the doubt...

I ain't buying it. They shoulda done the time.

Stuck ashore? Borrow a dink without asking, maybe. Return it? Definitely. Proper action? Ask somone for a ride.

Drinking impairs judgement (most of us know this from first hand experience). To use impairment as an excuse is crazy. What if they got in a bar fight and shot someone or beat someone? We wouldnt be saying, "It's OK. They were drunk and on leave."

BTW - leaving their wallets in the dink? These guys are not rocket scientists, are they?
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Old 05-05-2012, 22:09   #38
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I think the Sherriff should have had them formally apologize to the dinghy owners in front of a group of people and then band from Catalina for a time. Not just let them off.
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Old 05-05-2012, 23:08   #39
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The Golden Rule

Theft is theft, and alcohol doesn't excuse anything.

Sometimes mercy is unappreciated, and there is a component of this story that has not been properly examined. The OP says that the apparent leader of the three thieves asked him in the Reef if he were "Steve Larson." I think it's safe to conclude that "Steve Larson" is the very same "Steve" mentioned as the owner of the dinghy, though the OP doesn't make that clear.
If so, the thief-leader's question is pregnant with two possibilities:
  1. he either wants to identify Steve Larson to thank him profusely for not pressing charges, to apologize to him personally, and to declare his recommitment to valuing the narrow path of righteousness his mother tried to inculcate in him; or
  2. he wants to find "Steve Larson" in order to affect some kind of revenge on him for getting the law to harass him and his mates.

It's not clear which motivation the thief-leader has: therefore, it is impossible to determine whether this act of mercy was well-placed, or mis-placed.

I would have pressed charges, on the principle that I would not want to live in a society in which criminals get to skirt justice, and without showing evidence of remorse, are likely to continue their lives of crime on other victims. By pressing charges, I'm protecting my neighbors from being victims of the same crime. Let the judge show mercy upon examination, if he is so inclined.

Oh, yeah: I always lock my dinghy, but I think Two Harbors is safer than Avalon.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:40   #40
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I remember one morning 25 years ago I was late to the big monthly sales meeting at my company. I was doing 95 down I5 in Los Angeles when one of the new (at that time) stealth CHP cars came roaring up behind me. I was sure I was a dead man. I told the officer that I had no excuse and that I was simply late and in a hurry. What he said next amazed me..."If you promise me you won't speed for the next 30 days, I'll let you go". Well, I promised him and I kept my promise. As you can tell, I have never forgotten that act of kindness and it did way more to change my behavior than a ticket would have. Having been on the receiving end of a kind act like that, I would have a hard time sending these guys to jail.

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Old 06-05-2012, 02:27   #41
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

It doesn't make it right, but if it was alcohol related I'd be considering not pressing charges.

We had a sort of a theft situation not long ago. Our Zodiac 6.5m / 21ft was sitting on a jetty near where there was a yacht race being held. The Zodiac was nothing to do with the yacht race in any way. A yacht had drifted anchor out in the distance, not badly, but it had then broken free. The owners of the yacht, ran to the jetty and hijacked our Zodiac to rescue our boat. They zoomed off in some very shallow water chewing up a lot of dirt, but didn't do any noticeable damage.

The Police were there and said we could have them charged, but it felt a bit rough if we had have. They claimed to have tried to contact the owners (us) but there was no evidence of this.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:38   #42
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinLA View Post
I remember one morning 25 years ago I was late to the big monthly sales meeting at my company. I was doing 95 down I5 in Los Angeles when one of the new (at that time) stealth CHP cars came roaring up behind me. I was sure I was a dead man. I told the officer that I had no excuse and that I was simply late and in a hurry. What he said next amazed me..."If you promise me you won't speed for the next 30 days, I'll let you go". Well, I promised him and I kept my promise. As you can tell, I have never forgotten that act of kindness and it did way more to change my behavior than a ticket would have. Having been on the receiving end of a kind act like that, I would have a hard time sending these guys to jail.

Mike

Yes, but don't compare the victimless misdemeanor of speeding (I assume you were driving fast but very carefully) with the crime committed against the dinghy owner. And the sheer meanness of it - just setting the dinghy adrift. Causing so much damage to another person - to another cruiser! - just for the
sake of a ride, just because the water taxi was finished for the night.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:41   #43
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

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It doesn't make it right, but if it was alcohol related I'd be considering not pressing charges.

We had a sort of a theft situation not long ago. Our Zodiac 6.5m / 21ft was sitting on a jetty near where there was a yacht race being held. The Zodiac was nothing to do with the yacht race in any way. A yacht had drifted anchor out in the distance, not badly, but it had then broken free. The owners of the yacht, ran to the jetty and hijacked our Zodiac to rescue our boat. They zoomed off in some very shallow water chewing up a lot of dirt, but didn't do any noticeable damage.

The Police were there and said we could have them charged, but it felt a bit rough if we had have. They claimed to have tried to contact the owners (us) but there was no evidence of this.
That's not theft. If someone in distress borrows my dink, and returns it - they are very welcome. I would be glad to have helped. Not the same thing at all.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:43   #44
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Yeah, I'm inclined to think that they would be in huge trouble with the Army, and that they knew the deal when they enlisted, and that the reason they'd be in trouble is because they deserved it. They are expected to be and should be held to a HIGHER standard and honestly; "don't steal" is a pretty low bar. Don't be a wallet leaving IDIOT is a somewhat tougher standard, but not much.

I'd consider it a disservice to everyone else in their unit NOT to turn em in.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:40   #45
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Upon further reflection, given that they left their wallets in the dink - quite possible that they simply didn't tie the dink up well enough rather than deliberately set it adrift.

In an ideal world I would want to meet them in person, fairly easy to tell if someone is simply making excuses or is genuinely horrified that they set the dink adrift. If the latter then I would let them off - a learning experiance for both of us.

For me too much alcohol is not an excuse - but it is a good reason for things going more badly than intended.

But I still think that someone who has $8k of RIB should take a bit more care than they did - not to say they were "asking for it", but..........

....says the bloke who hasn't locked his dink in 5 years. and the (unchained) oars are still in it! But it is 8 foot of plastic crap!
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