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Old 05-05-2012, 05:57   #1

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Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Was an early morning in Two Harbors, Catalina Is. Cali., and the wife and I tied up to the dingy dock to head up for breakfast at the Reef bar.

As we walked to the ramp leading up to the pier, a nice couple (Steve and Kim) sitting in a Avon with a Honda on the back asked us if "we had seen anyone in a dingy like this [the one they are sitting in belonging to a friend]?" "Ours was stolen last night" they added.

"Wish we could help you guys, but no we haven't seen it" we mentioned. The dingy pictured is $6 to 8 grand, sometimes more and it was the first day of their vacation,, the dingy brand new.

They reported the theft to the Harbor Master and the Sheriffs office in Two Harbors.

Alice and I had coffee, went for a hike to Catalina Harbor on the other side of the Island and returned back to the Reef bar about 2 hours later.

At the bar the bartender told us a boater had spotted a high end dingy mid-channel and towed it in and turned into the Harbor Masters office.
Turns out it was the stolen dingy. The thieves used it to get back to their sailboat after the water taxi was secured for the night,,, then set it adrift. Out to sea with the tide it went.

What is cool about the whole deal is the thieves all left their wallets in the dingy and unbeknownst to them until the next day,,,, the wallets drifted off with the dingy.

The sheriff came down to the pier identify the dingy and discovered the wallets. A quick ID was run on boats registered in the harbor. Within a few minutes the thieves were hooked up and sitting in the Sub station jail.
The Avalon sheriffs boat would be picking them up to be transferred to Los Angeles County Jail that afternoon.

The dingy / tender owner and his wife were notified and glad to have their inflatable back.

One thief owned a nice sailboat. The two thief companions were on leave from the Army.
The dingy owners, Steve and Kim decided to not press charges because the Army guys would be in super deep trouble, and asked the Sheriff to let the thieves go.

The sheriff explained to the thieves what a huge break they got,, and reluctantly set them free and the thieves made their way to the bar in route to board their sailboat and go home.

The thief owner of the sail boat walked up to the bar and asked me if "I was Steve Larson?"
"If I was I'd have a gun" I replied,, the head thief turned pale,, and the 3 thieves quickly exited, headed to the water taxi,, and vanished.

You make the call, would you have let the thieves off the hook and not press charges like Steve and Kim did?
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:09   #2
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

NO!!! The military has little need for thieves.

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Old 05-05-2012, 06:20   #3
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

No but perhaps Steve & Kim have just made a huge deposit into the Karma Bank
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:25   #4
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Certainly not! I crime unpunished is another crime waiting to happen. Obviously, thieves will always take what they can get, including a second chance.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:32   #5
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Nope. What's the old deal that crooks get caught once in a hundred incidents or numbers to that effect.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:34   #6
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I don't know, if they were in the Army they are probably young and probably drunk too when they stole the dinghy, probably thinking it was all good fun. Hands up anyone who has not done anything stupid when young and drunk which if caught at the time could have had serious consequences? If they learn their lesson well and good, if not next time around lower the boom on them.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:57   #7
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I did something stupid when I was young and drunk I was caught, punished and learned a valuable lesson. 30 years later I still cannot legally enter the USA. That's shitty but oh well, live and learn.
These thieves are not as fortunate as I was, they are living but maybe not learning.... btw, maybe this was "the next time around". Just sayin'...
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:49   #8
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Tough call

Just can not why they just didnt bum a ride on the next person showing up to go out to a boat. Bumming a ride is no big deal and happens all the time. Hopefully the break they got has sunken in and they have learned a lesson.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:16   #9
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I wouldnt let them off. How reluctant will the sherriff be next time? or...I would at least have just kept their wallets and given them away to some seedy looking guy when I got to the mainland!
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 05-05-2012, 09:29   #10
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I would never let them off. What they did was an act of incredible meanness. Such an act needs to be punished. Letting them go creates all the wrong incentives, and as others have said, eliminates a good lesson.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:00   #11
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

you let someone off who stole 8k dingy from you. Next time they might steal your neighbors,,,how will you feel then. As for being in trouble with the Army,,,,they are all probably sitting at the bar joking about the time they had and got away with it. Your bad in my opinion.

I had 2 brother steal 18k worth of camera equipment from me. Cops found the equipment. One of the brother said he did not know it was stolen and he got it from his brother. i had told the cops were he worked and even gave the cops the time and day he works. It was only 5 miles away from the station. 5 years later they still did not go arrest or speak with the brother. Later I was told by an attorney that because it was insured the cops did not really care about it. Wonder how many chances they are getting.

next time press charges,,,,,,,when it comes time for court you can always not show up and then the charges are dropped. because you dropped the charges so early the army most likely does not care.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:03   #12
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I was at a Christmas party in Altata, Sinaloa a couple of years ago. My dinghy had just been stolen. We had hired local fishermen to ferry us around in their panga to ask if anyone had seen it. Sure enough, an old fisherman had heard an outboard go past his house after midnight on the night in question, and as he lived two miles up a narrow mangrove estuary, no outboards ever went past his house. We found the dinghy a couple hundred yards beyond his house, minus the outboard. To add insult to injury, the thief/thieves had defecated in the storage compartment of the dinghy. So anyway, back to the Christmas party. I was chatting with the governor of Sinaloa, and I mentioned that I would really have enjoyed catching the criminal(s) in the act, not to punish them too severely, just to have a little bit of justice. The governor replied, "how about crucifixion? It was good enough for the thieves next to Christ!" I could not argue with his logic.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:17   #13
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

It really wasn't up to the couple who's dinghy was stolen to decide whether to press charges or not. Theft of an item worth more than $950 is defined as "Grand Theft" in California, and can result in jail time up to three years. Since it was a criminal offense, not a civil offense, it was up to the Sheriff to make the call.

Nice that they got it back!
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:30   #14
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

Catalina Island is too close to large populated areas of California and lots of thiefs. My only visit to Catalina Island a couple years ago we stopped by Avalon for the night and the next morning paddled our dingy to the dock and went shopping for less than an hour and upon returning found our dingy had been moved and tied to the furtherest out buoy by the harbor ( ahole )master because we didn't have state numbers on it. I will never go there again without leaving an armed guard at my dingy. We left quickly and went to Two Harbors and had a great time and gave Avalon a wide track. I guess the neo natzi skin headed official at Avalon figuring no dingy motor no money no respect, I will always trash there repertation untill they call and appoligise . I did get a ride from another sailing couple and got my dingy and left, This was my maden voyge in our new catamaran. We now always use a combination padlock and heavy cable to secure out dingy even in the friendly places.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:59   #15
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Re: Tender Theft. What Would You Do?:

I'd tell them they had a choice.

5 lashes with the cat each


Arrest, and all the stuff that goes with it.

I'd be interested to hear the replies. Then I'd probably ream their butts, and let them off.
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