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Boat owner rents plane, tracks down stolen craft

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Boat owner rents plane, tracks down stolen craft

Old 08-11-2007, 02:27 PM
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Default Boat owner rents plane, tracks down stolen craft

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The owner of a stolen boat took to the air to find his $180,000 pleasure craft.

An hour and a half after Steve Boone rented an airplane and took off from Olympia Airport, he spotted the 34-foot boat, then followed it from above as it was towed along a highway until two people were stopped and arrested Thursday.

"I was in shock. It's like somebody slapped me in the face," said Boone, the owner of Northwest Harley-Davidson in Lacey.

Boone's boat was being serviced at the U.S. Marine Sales & Service in Olympia when it disappeared Monday night.

"I never thought I'd see it again," he said.

But a local realtor spotted the $180,000 pleasure craft at a gas station near Shelton. She noticed the couple towing the boat was using a pickup truck much too small for the load and questioned them.

"She's thinking 'why would somebody tow a boat this big with this little Nissan Truck?'" Boone said.

The couple mentioned that they were heading for Port Ludlow, about 60 miles north of Olympia. The realtor relayed the information to a friend of Boone's, who then told the owner himself.

Boone chartered a small plane to fly along Highway 101.

About 10 miles south of Port Ludlow, near Quilcene, Boone said, he spotted the boat in a marina and had the pilot fly low twice to make sure it was properly identified.

"There it was!" he said.

Soon afterward, a vehicle began towing the boat on U.S. Highway 101 toward State Route 104, so Boone called Olympia police from the air as the pilot followed the rig for about 20 miles

"It was like following O.J. It was a little procession," he said.

The vehicle was eventually stopped by Jefferson County sheriff's deputies.

"About that time, we saw the lights flashing and they were done," Boone said.

The couple who was caught towing the boat is in police custody. The pair is being investigated for involvement in other boat thefts in the area.

Boone said he has renamed his boat "No Escape".

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Old 08-11-2007, 02:35 PM
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yeah, i bet the plane rental was cheaper than filing a claim with the insurance company....
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:17 AM
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That's awesome. Another good way to proactively stick it to the theives out there
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Old 08-12-2007, 09:39 AM
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Old 08-13-2007, 09:39 AM
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Phone call from the airplane? Hope they weren't flying IFR...J/k, great story!
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