Boat thief narrowly avoids jail

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
Albany Justice Complex.
Camera IconAlbany Justice Complex. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Jason Charles Remaj was met by an unwelcome sight as he approached the shoreline of Lower King’s Coraki Park after a morning on the water on January 15.

Waiting for him, and the stolen dinghy he was piloting, were police officers.

The officers had been tipped off by a member of the community earlier that morning after they spotted an unregistered boat trailer attached to a four-wheel-drive ute.

Both the dinghy and trailer were seized by police, as inquiries by officers confirmed they had been stolen in November, 2017.

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But before leaving the scene, the 33-year-old told police they would “probably want to deal with that”, referring to the 15hp mariner outboard motor attached to the dinghy, the Albany Magistrate’s Court was told last Thursday.

Remaj attended a recorded interview on March 22 and presented documentation for a trailer and dinghy he legitimately owned.

He declined to make any further comment to police at the time.

Charged with three counts of possessing stolen or unlawfully obtained property, to which he ultimately pleaded guilty, Remaj fronted the court on September 13 and signed a bail undertaking to return to court on November 7.

However on November 8, after failing to appear the day before, Remaj handed himself in to police, admitting he had overslept for his appearance, which added a breach of bail count to his list of offences.

Remaj was given a 10-month intensive supervision order for possession of the stolen boating equipment, which was worth just under $2000 according to police prosecutors. He will have to complete 80 hours of community work as part of the order.

Before handing down her sentence, Magistrate Raelene Johnston told Remaj he would have “likely” been imprisoned if the value of the stolen dinghy, trailer and motor were higher.

Remaj also received fines for breaching bail as well as drug and driving charges to which he pleaded guilty during his appearance last Thursday.

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