Sea Tow helps nab boat thief in New York

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A Queens man who reportedly admitted stealing a 27-foot boat from a Newburgh, N.Y., marina last Tuesday was arrested when the vessel sputtered out of gas in the middle of the Hudson River.

The Rockland County Sheriff's Office told the Times Herald-Record that Sea Tow found 27-year-old John Knaggs in the cabin of a 1995 Wellcraft cruiser adrift in the shipping lane of the Hudson.

Knaggs told Sea Tow workers he couldn't afford the tow, but he would be fine. Sea Tow workers found the situation suspicious and called police, who say Knaggs admitted stealing the boat from Gull Harbor Marina. He also was found with methamphetamine, police said.

Rob Faiella, the owner of the boat, said it was trashed. He said all three rescue flares were set off in the boat, leaving scorch marks; duct tape was inexplicably wrapped around the seat cushions and vinyl cleaner had been poured into the carburetor. The anchor had been cut off and the canvas awning was thrown into the river.

Knaggs was charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree possession of stolen property and fourth-degree criminal possession of drugs, all felonies.

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