Man arrested over marina thefts

JOELLE DALLY AND BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 15:57 12/05/2014
Stolen boat equipment found in Lyttelton
Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ

STOLEN PROPERTY FOUND: Detective Jeremy Gunn of Christchurch South Police surveys the van seized from a storage area near the Naval Point Club

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A man suspected of stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of boat equipment has been arrested.

Sean Clark appeared in Christchurch District Court this morning on a breach of bail charge, where it emerged police suspected he was behind about eight break-ins at a Picton marina in the last fortnight. 

Clark was found in Lyttelton about 9.30am on Friday, the court heard.

Police arrested him for failing to abide by his bail conditions.

They later recovered a large amount of stolen equipment from a storage area near the Naval Point Club.

At the time of the court appearance, detectives had not charged Clark over the burglaries because they needed to verify where the items had come from.

Police had seized dinghies, a trailer and his green van. Among the stolen items were life jackets, outboard motors and tools.

Defence lawyer David Goldwater argued Clark should be granted bail because he could not be held in custody based on "spurious allegations" alone. 

''There is no paperwork for police's claim Mr Clark was effectively caught red-handed in possession of stolen property. Police had not laid charges in connection with the stolen items and had only a few hours to put a case together," the judge said.

''In the circumstances, Sean Clark must be granted bail."

Clark was remanded to June 22 for sentencing on the breach of bail charge. 

Sergeant Kris Payne said Clark was arrested after this morning's court appearance and was questioned this afternoon in relation to about 10 burglaries in Picton. 

Police alleged Clark stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment from boats, Payne said.

People who had items stolen from their boats were asked to contact Picton police on (03) 520 3120.

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