Frustrated boat engine theft victim in Nanaimo sells boat


WATCH: A Nanaimo man who held a two-week protest at the Nanaimo courthouse says he’s selling his boat because he can’t protect it. Tony Pulhalski was the victim of theft four times in eight years and he says the justice system needs to be improved. Kendall Hanson reports.

Tony Puhalski was frustrated when thieves stole his boat motor six months ago.

When it happened again last month from a secured facility, the fourth theft he’s suffered in eight years, it was his breaking point.

“The RCMP know who the culprits are,” said Pulhalski. “If they know why can’t they put them away. There are too many roadblocks.”

For two weeks Puhalski was parked outside Nanaimo’s courthouse calling for a toughening of the criminal justice system.

“It’s not working for me,” said Puhalski during an interview March 29th. “It might be working for somebody but it’s not working for me and from what I hear it’s not working for a lot of people. They feel like they have to defend themselves.”

Feeling defeated he sold his boat of seven years today.

“I can’t protect it,” he says.

His retirement dream of fishing on his boat has sunk, as his vessel was becoming an all-consuming worry.

He says he’s received a lot of feedback from others who are also troubled about the level of crime in the region.

“The citizens of Nanaimo are great. I’ve got a lot of support,” said Pulhalski. “They’re even doing a bottle collection for me. I don’t need the money but they want to try help. I need them to speak up. I need them to write the politicians, write to the lawmakers and make changes. that’s what we need.

Puhalski says he’s written letters to the RCMP and his local MLA. An effort he hopes will lead to greater accountability and fewer crimes in the future.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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