Stolen Salt Spring boat ends up on Gabriola

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Salt Spring RCMP have identified a potential suspect in the theft of a boat stolen from Ganges Harbour that turned up in Descanso Bay on Gabriola Island last week.

Corp. Matthew Crist of the Salt Spring RCMP detachment said that with the assistance of another detachment they had identified a suspect  who is not a resident of Salt Spring Island. That person had not been arrested as of Monday.

“Our investigation is ongoing, however, we hope to compile the evidence necessary to recommend a charge against the suspect,” Crist said.

Salt Spring RCMP received a report of the missing and possibly stolen vessel on the morning of Aug. 17. The 5.5-metre (18-foot) Grady-White sports boat had been moored in Ganges Harbour off a property located on Rourke Road. The owner believed the theft likely occurred sometime between 10 p.m. on Aug. 16 and 7 a.m. on Aug. 17.

“We were later notified by the RCMP on Gabriola that the vessel in question had been recovered after running aground,” Crist said. “No arrests have yet been made and our file is still under investigation in conjunction with the Gabriola RCMP.”

Several Gabriola residents witnessed the boat come in and crash against a reef in Gabriola’s Descanso Bay. Doug and Diana Walkey managed to provide police with a photo of a suspect, who waded out of the bay around 9:45 a.m. and refused offers of help.

The boat suffered significant damage. It was determined to be the boat stolen from Salt Spring after forensic identification testing by RCMP in Nanaimo.

Crist said anyone who has knowledge of the suspect or the incident should call their local detachment.

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