Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

OK I had my dinghy and ob stolen in St Barths a few days ago. Reported it to the police there and I am now in Antigua meandering back down island towards Grenada.

I was thinking about what I should do if I were to spot dinghy or engine or even both. They are pretty recognisable with plenty of identifiers.

I guess I could just repossess it but say it was secured in such a way I would have to cut a security wire or lock. Or do I just go to the local police?

Has anybody come across this problem?
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

I would contact the local authorities, present them with the copies of your police reports, claim the dingy you saw is your property, and let them handle it.


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post #3 of 14 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
OK I had my dinghy and ob stolen in St Barths a few days ago. Reported it to the police there and I am now in Antigua meandering back down island towards Grenada.

I was thinking about what I should do if I were to spot dinghy or engine or even both. They are pretty recognisable with plenty of identifiers.

I guess I could just repossess it but say it was secured in such a way I would have to cut a security wire or lock. Or do I just go to the local police?

Has anybody come across this problem?
That is an interesting question. If you still have the registration for the dinghy that shows the VIN Number, and a purchase receipt or warranty card that shows the engine number of the outboard; and, a copy of the police report indicating that same were stolen, I would go to the local authorities to see if they would help you regain possession. In most cases, "importing" stolen property is, itself, a crime. Difficulty arises when the person in possession of the goods has, perhaps unknowingly, purchased them in good faith. That does not over-ride your right to regain possession but does make it problematical. I would suspect that a typical dinghy thief is not really interested in keeping the equipment but more in selling it and preferably to someone that would be moving on so the goods are removed from the venue of the offence hence less likelihood of their discovery leading back to the thief/seller.

In any case, I would be very circumspect about attempting to regain possession absent thorough documentation and assistance by whatever local law enforcement their might be or you might find yourself charged with theft.

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post #4 of 14 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

Disregard duplicate post

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."

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post #5 of 14 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

In some countries the police ARE the problem--ask the locals before you go to the authorities.

In this case, they confronted the thieves and just took the dinghy back.

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post #6 of 14 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

Would you mind detailing the circumstances that led to your dink and motor being stolen? Might be useful for the rest of us heading that way in the near future.

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post #7 of 14 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

I'd think it would depend a lot on whether I spotted it on entering the country or when I was leaving.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

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Would you mind detailing the circumstances that led to your dink and motor being stolen? Might be useful for the rest of us heading that way in the near future.
I was at anchor off the main town/harbor of Gustavia. It was very busy because of the megayacht bucket races.

I clipped it on then cleated it off a litttle shorter so it hung of the stern maybe 10 feet clear and used a security wire. I trailed it off my stern. I was tired as I had sailed the 80 miles up from Antigua in the previous 24 hours so possibly slept more soundly than normal.

Anyway in the morning the rope was gone the wire cut and the dinghy gone.

I had always joked that no self respecting thief would bother with my 28 year old Johnson.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

Steal it back, keep going. Enjoy a cold beer.


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post #10 of 14 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Recovering a stolen dinghy and engine in another country?

I had the same thing happen in mexico many years back. We saw our dinghy tied to another boat. We liberated it at o'dark thirty and departed the area.


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