‘She was delighted when we got it back for her as she was just learning to paddle,’ North Fremantle-based Water Police Senior Constable Paul Crawshaw said, after he received a thank you card from the girl last week.
The girl’s Finn Gizmo kayak was allegedly taken from her father’s boat at Aquarama Marina inEast Fremantle, in March.
The theft happened when kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, diving and fishing equipment and boating safety gear were taken from boats during incidents at Royal Perth, Royal Flying Squadron, Claremont, Royal Freshwater Bay and East Fremantle yacht clubs, and Pier 21 jetties in North Fremantle and Aquarama.
Water Police established Operation Harlem that tracked some of the items being advertised on a popular internet second-hand site.
The four-month investigation resulted in the arrest of a southern suburbs man (34) who was charged with 26 charges of theft on June 5.
‘It will be alleged he was even swimming out to boats on their moorings in Blackwall Reach and Claremont Yacht Club, and in some cases using a bolt cutter to cut through chains that secured kayaks,’ Senior Constable Rob Jennings said.
Police have yet to identify some suspected stolen items including diving regulators and vests, radios, emergency kits, fishing rods, ski paddles and lifejackets.
‘All valuable items on boats must have identification marks, be secured or taken off when they are not being used, and all thefts must be reported, but this arrest has made a significant reduction in the volume of crime on our waterways,’ Snr Const Jennings said.
Call 131 444 to claim items or report new or historic thefts from boats.
Streetwatch, Page 14