Video shows man steal 54-foot yacht from Oak Bay Marina

Video shows man steal 54-foot yacht from Oak Bay Marina
WatchIt was a brazen theft, a 54-foot yacht was stolen early Monday morning from Oak Bay's Marina. Police and the coast guard came together to find the vessel and to arrest the man responsible. As Julian Kolsut reports, it still has officers stunned.

A 25-year-old man is facing multiple charges after stealing a 54-foot yacht worth over $400,000 early Monday morning.

Surveillance video from Barnacle Systems, a boat security start up, shows the man paddle up to Son Seeker IV at the Oak Bay Marina.

The boat was for sale. The man then forced his way in, took the keys that were left on board and motored off. He ended up hitting a section of the dock but was able to flee.

But the Son Seeker didn’t make it far. Police found it floating near the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

“Our members received a ride form the Canadian coastguard, to the boat,” said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties with Oak Bay police.

“We boarded the boat and were armed when doing so. We entered the boat and found a male in the boat who had a knife in bed with him.”

Police took the man into custody. They say he’s a prolific offender with a long criminal history.

Even after taking the suspect into custody on the massive boat the drama on the water was not over yet.

He claimed he had COVID-19.

“The male continued to be uncooperative. Banging his head off the shield off the police car and so forth but had to be taken to hospital,” said Bernoties.

“We tried to appeal to his good nature and tried to explain to him this was a serious allegation and it was taking a strain on already busy resources.”

The scope of the theft even surprised the boat security tech startup that recorded it from their office on the dock.

“Locally you wouldn’t expect to see a boat stolen, especially that size,” said Barnacle Systems CEO Brandon Wright.

“But in the states and Florida, in particular, it’s very prevalent . . . It’ definitely the hail Mary of boat thefts.”

The theft left Oak Bay police officers wondering what happened.

“So whether this was to take this yacht and sell it or just him to create a permanent residence or whether it was one comfortable night [we don’t know],” said Bernoties.

“After almost three decades of policing, I can’t even try to get into the minds of some people.”

The man now faces several charges, including theft over $5,000, mischief over $5,000 and possession of stolen property.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!