WEST OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on theft charges last week after allegedly swiping a propeller and rudder from a boat in West Ocean City and later pawning the stolen goods at a pawn shop.
On Feb. 19, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Sunset Ave. in West Ocean City for a reported theft. The deputy met with a victim who reported that sometime over the weekend, an unknown suspect had stolen the propeller and rudder from his boat. The victim told police the propeller was about 48 inches in diameter and made of brass, and had an estimated worth in the range of $8,000 to $10,000. The victim told police the rudder was around three feet wide and four feet tall and the estimated cost of replacing it would be in a range of $2,000 to $3,000.
The next day on Feb. 20, the victim informed the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) that surveillance video recorded on Feb. 19 showed a pick-up truck with a white cap back up to the location where the boat was stored and from where the propeller and rudder were stolen. The victim further told police after reviewing the surveillance video, he saw a vehicle matching the description driving in the area where the thefts occurred.
The victim was able to provide WCBI detectives with registration information from the suspect vehicle and a check revealed the truck was registered to Kyle Joseph Owens, 20, of Ocean City. WCBI detectives then conducted a check of local pawn shops for any record of Owens’ name and discovered that on Feb. 16, Owens had sold 345 pounds of brass to a local scrap yard.
WCBI detectives responded to the scrap yard and made contact with the yard manager, who told police the brass Owens sold was a five-blade propeller, which was later determined to be the one stolen from the victim. The scrap yard manager also told detectives Owens had also scrapped a rudder at the same time the propeller was scrapped.
Last Friday, WCBI detectives met with Owens. During the interview, Owens admitted to taking the propeller and the rudder. He was then served with a criminal summons from District Court charging him with theft from $10,000 to under $100,000. A preliminary court date has been set for April 5.