(Oak Bay Police/Twitter)

Oak Bay Police have arrested a 25-year-old man who stole a yacht, then claimed to have COVID-19.

The man, who police say is a prolific offender, allegedly stole a 54 foot yacht from Oak Bay Marina at around 3:30 a.m. early Monday morning.

Officers who were notified of the incident requested assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard who gave them a ride to the stolen yacht, which was spotted near the Oak Bay Hotel area.

“We boarded [and] arrested [the] male,” writes Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties. When police arrived on the yacht, they found the man in the bed along with a knife.

Police say he was uncooperative and claimed that he had COVID-19.

“To try to assess the validity of his statement, our members advised him of the seriousness of his claim and the pressure on our health system,” reads a statement from Deputy Chief Bernoties.

However the suspect continued to take uncooperative actions, including banging his head off the plexiglass screen in the police car.

He was first taken to the hospital to be assessed for COVID-19 and, once health care workers cleared him, was taken into custody.

The suspect in question has an extensive criminal history according to Oak Bay Police.

He faces recommended charges of theft over $5000, possession of stolen property of $5000, breach of conditions (as he is not to possess a knife), and Mischief over $5000
(for damage caused to the yacht when boarding).


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