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Nappanee man temporarily loses boat to kids on “joy ride”

A Nappanee man learned his boat on Lake Wawasee was stolen by two juveniles on Friday.
Posted on June 11, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 11, 2012 at 3:53 p.m.

SYRACUSE — Two juveniles said they were just going for a “joy ride” on a Nappanee man’s boat on Lake Wawasee Friday night.

Indiana Conservation Officer Jerry Hoerdt was on boat patrol at 10:30 p.m. when he saw a boat traveling around 30 miles per hour, speeding, across the lake, according to a press release from the Department of Natural Resources. The suspect boat eventually came to a stop in the area of Enchanted Hills after Hoerdt had activated his emergency lights.

The boat’s operator was a 14-year-old boy, and a 13-year-old boy was also on the boat. Both boys admitted to taking the boat around 8 p.m. from the Enchanted Hills area to go on a “joy ride,” according to the release. The boat was not damaged.

The boys were both picked up at the public boat ramp by their legal guardians, and they will be summoned into the Kosciusko County probation department, police said.

The owner of the boat, a Nappanee man, was located and notified of the incident on Sunday, police said.

Indiana Conservation Officers recommend owners not leave the boat key on the boat or putting it in a lock box with a combination and disconnecting one or both battery terminal cables after outings. Officers also suggest making sure the boat’s registration is up to date and properly displayed, have photographs of the boat and property, permanently etching or engraving the name of the owner onto the boat and recording the make, model, serial number information.

To report the theft of a boat or to report suspicious activity, call the Indiana Conservation Officers dispatch at (812) 837-9536 or local law enforcement.


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