A security camera installed in Club Marine member, Malcolm Kemp’s Craigieburn, Melbourne home captured the moment brazen thieves stole his XS21 Spy, a 21ft ski and wake boat.
The theft took place in broad daylight on November 21, with the video footage showing a man taking to the trailer lock with an angle grinder before attempting to drag the boat trailer to a nearby 4WD. Unable to move the heavy boat by himself, the man left for a short while and returned with an accomplice, who helped heave the trailer into place before towing it away.
The video became an internet sensation after Malcom posted it to his Facebook page and was soon picked up by Channel 9News and Melbourne radio station, 3AW’s Breakfast Show. The public joined the chase, with responses flooding Malcolm’s Facebook post -- including the crucial message that helped Victoria Police locate the boat.
“I was driving home along the Hume Freeway on Saturday and actually spotted a car towing my boat. The thief had taken the wakeboard tower off so the cover was loose; it was flapping around, but I could clearly see it was my boat on my trailer.
“He must have noticed I was tailing him and put his foot down. The boat began to flail around, I was towing a work trailer and that began flailing, too. It got dangerous when he turned off onto a narrow, two-lane road and he was speeding, overtaking cars and veering past oncoming traffic. I had to abandon the chase then.”
A few days later, Malcom received a message on his Facebook post, including a photo of his boat and its location. It seems the thieves had removed the registration plate, inadvertently revealing Malcom’s name tag, probably placed there by the boat dealership at the time of purchase. Malcolm passed the information on to Victoria Police, who recovered the boat and trailer on the same day.
Club Marine National Claims Technical Manager Phillip Johnson says the boat’s quick recovery was aided by the ‘long arm’ of social media.
“Social media played a large part in the recovery of the stolen boat - word got out very quickly once Malcolm posted the video, which contributed greatly to the discovery of the thieves and the boat.
“Malcom has done a great job by being proactive and doing what he could to get his vessel back. Thanks to his efforts and the engagement of the public, Victoria Police was able to recover the stolen items and return them to their rightful owner.”
With his pride and joy currently undergoing repairs to the damage inflicted by the thieves, Malcolm’s Christmas plans may be ruined, but he’s looking forward to putting his Spy on the water soon into the New Year.
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