Man charged with propeller and rudder theft at WOC harbor
(March 1, 2013) A 20-year-old Ocean City man has been charged in connection with the theft of a boat propeller and rudder in West Ocean City.
The victim told a deputy with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 19 that someone had stolen those items from his boat at Sunset Avenue the previous weekend.
The brass propeller, he said, was nearly 48 inches in diameter and valued at $8,000 to $10,000. He described the steel rudder as nearly 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall. Its replacement cost is $2,000 to $3,000.
The next day, the victim contacted the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation to say he had viewed surveillance video from Feb. 16 that showed a pickup truck with a white cap backing up to the location where the items were stolen.
After viewing that video, the victim drove around in the area where the theft took place and saw a truck matching the one he had seen in the video.
Detectives checked the registration provided by the victim and found that the truck was registered to Kyle Joseph Owens of north Ocean City. They then checked the records of a local pawnshop.
Those records showed that on Feb. 16, Owens sold 345 pounds of brass to a local scrap yard. Detectives went to the scrap yard where a clerk told them that the brass Owens sold was a five-blade propeller, which was later identified as belonging to the victim. The yard manager at the scrap yard told detectives that Owens had scrapped a rudder at the same time he scrapped the propeller.
Detectives interviewed Owens on Feb. 22. During that interview, Owens admitted taking the propeller and rudder, according to the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation. He was served with a criminal summons charging him with theft of items valued at $10,000 to less than $100,000.
Owens is scheduled to appear in District Court in Snow Hill on April 5.