British Columbia

Prolific offender claiming to have COVID-19 arrested on stolen yacht

Oak Bay Police were sent out to investigate Monday morning, after a yacht was reported stolen from a local marina around 3:30 am.

Suspect sent to hospital due his claim, and police say jail will follow

Police move toward the stolen boat in the waters off the Oak Bay Hotel. (Oak Bay Police/Twitter)

A report of a stolen yacht led to the arrest of a prolific offender who claims to have COVID-19, police said Monday.

Oak Bay police were sent out to investigate after a yacht was reported stolen from a marina around 3:30 a.m. PT Monday.

The boat was eventually spotted in the waters near the Oak Bay Hotel, east of Victoria. 

Officers notified the Coast Guard and were ferried to the yacht with their help. 

Police boarded the boat and arrested a 25-year-old man, who they say is a prolific offender.

In a tweet, police said the man was unco-operative and had a knife hidden under the bed inside the vessel.

"He claimed to have COVID-19," said the tweet from the Oak Bay Police Department. 

"Our members very effectively de-escalated the situation, which could have been tragic. During all this, there was a moment when a member didn't have a mask on."

The suspect was sent to hospital due to his health claim, and police say jail will follow.

Officers said the man had canoed to the yacht in order to gain access. It's not clear, however, how the man managed to take it out onto the water.

Charges are being recommended.