A ROSEBUD Motor Boat Squadron member became suspicious when he noticed the club’s front gate had been forced open and a car and boat trailer hidden in bushes, 6.45am, Thursday 4 April.
Club commodore Mike Hibbert arrived at the foreshore clubhouse soon after and the pair watched CCTV footage of two men arriving earlier that morning in a Ford Territory towing a Quintrex boat with Mercury outboard and cutting the bolt to the club’s yard.
They learned later that the boat had been stolen from outside a house in Ocean Street, Rosebud at 5.35am the same day.
Mr Hibbert said the men launched the boat in front of the club in the dark using a torch.
“They must have been unfamiliar with the beach because they left the propeller down and attempted to go straight out before running aground on a sandbar,” he said. “When they got off they headed towards Dromana.”
Mr Hibbert called Rosebud police and kept an eye on the beach but, while they were occupied, one of the men returned unnoticed, possibly about 7.30am, and drove off in the car.
“It and the boat have both gone now,” he said.
“The funny thing was that if they had shut the gate in the first place we wouldn’t have noticed the Territory hidden in the bushes.”
Mr Hibbert gave police a USB stick with footage of the incident.
“They immediately knew the car, and presumably the occupants,” he said.
Detective Harry Simpson, of Somerville CIU, said the suspect was not yet in custody. “I will let you know when we get him,” he said.