By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN A routine traffic stop to warn a driver he didn’t have any taillights quickly turned into the recovery of a stolen boat from Delano May 14, according to West Hennepin Public Safety (WHPS).
A WHPS officer observed a vehicle pulling a boat and trailer eastbound on Highway 12 in the area of Hennepin County Road 92 without trailer lights around 3:30 a.m. When the officer turned around to advise the driver, the vehicle was not in sight.
The vehicle sped away and drove into Brightonwood Farms, where the driver and passenger abandoned the boat and trailer on Valley Road and ran. WHPS received assistance from other agencies and established a perimeter of the area. A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter was also requested to assist in searching for the individuals.
While waiting for the helicopter, two men came walking out of a ditch area with their hands in the air, turning themselves in to authorities, according to WHPS.
A 19-year-old from St. Paul and a 22-year-old from Robbinsdale were taken into custody pending charges, and further investigation showed the Mobius boat had been taken from Ski Boat Solutions, located on Seventh Street in Delano.
According to WHPS, the two suspects met a man on the web site, craigslist.com who claimed to have a boat for sale for $3,000. They met at the parking lot of the Delano Coborn’s. The man then took the other two men to Ski Boat Solutions and hooked up the boat. According to statements given by the suspects, the man who took them to hook up the boat then called them a short time later and told them it was stolen.
The boat’s rightful owner, who lives in Waconia, took the boat to Ski Boat Solutions for repair work, according to WHPS. Contact was made with the owner of the boat and the owner of Ski Boat Solutions, and no one had been given permission to take the boat.
Investigation continues on this case.