Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Light fingered boat thief

A boat engineer tried to build a luxury yacht using parts he stole bit by bit from work, it was revealed yesterday.

James Light, 35, smuggled hundreds of items in a seven-year period, including junction boxes, stern lights, lifting straps and a radar mast. Most were meant for 53ft yachts worth up to £1million that Light worked on at makers Sunseeker in Poole, Dorset, a court heard.

He packed them into more than 100 boxes and kept them in a lock-up.

But before he had the chance to start constructing his dream machine, bosses found a Sunseeker DVD player in his toolbox. Police were called and discovered his garage hoard. Sunseeker suspended Light as cops began a probe.

Light, of Walkford, Dorset, claimed he got the parts legitimately from a third party — but admitted charges of handling stolen goods and theft. He got a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Prosecutor Paul Hester said Light was an electrical engineer when caught in 2005.
He has since been sacked. Mr Hester said: “Light said the items had been accrued for use on a boat he was going to build for himself and had been obtained legitimately.”

Investigating officer Det Insp Jez Noyce said: “I’ve no idea how someone managed to sneak these items past Sunseeker security — especially a 4ft radar pole.”

A Sunseeker spokesman said: “It appears he was going to use the parts to build his own boat. Their serial numbers established that they were stolen.”

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