Man who stole $15,000 rudder thought it was his
A NEW South Wales man has been ordered to pay more than $5000 after stealing a rudder from Abell Point Marina.
Although he said he never intended to steal the rudder, valued at $15,000, Maged Samir Andrawes, 52, pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared in Proserpine Magistrates Court on Monday.
Police prosecutor Bernhard Berger said charter company Whitsunday Escape noticed their rudder was missing after they had removed it for repairs. After leaving it on the jetty arm where it was docked at Abell Point Marina on May 23, an employee noticed it was gone on June 1. After employing a diver to check it had not been pushed into the water they reported it stolen.
Mr Berger said the company had the vessel booked for a charter to the value of $4370 and it had to be cancelled.
On June 4 the rudder was seen on a vessel docked in the Airlie Beach area and it was reported to police. No one was on board but police took the rudder and returned it to the company.
Police contacted Andrawes and he later participated in an interview.
He said he had purchased a cyclone- damaged yacht for $6000 and was collecting it at the marina when he realised there was no rudder attached. He went to the marina to look for the rudder and after making enquiries, found the Whitsunday Escape rudder and took it believing it was his, he told police.
After police spoke with witnesses, they arrested Andrawes on July 1 after he said he was sailing to Sydney and his home-made wooden rudder on his vessel broke and had to be towed.
Duty lawyer Elizabeth Smith said Andrawes had picked the boat up on May 18 and it had been moved around the marina during cyclone repairs.
“When he found the rudder, it was near where it had been (berthed) at one stage,” Ms Smith said.
Ms Smith said he thought the specifications seemed to fit the size of his new vessel and that he had made no attempts to hide the rudder, thinking it was his.
Magistrate Ron Muirhead ordered that Andrawes pay restitution to the company of $4370 for the cancelled charter and fined him $750 with a conviction.