Police let canoe thieves go after ‘sledging’ claim

The thieves made off with the canoe
The thieves made off with the canoe
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IT’S a rapid getaway you canoe make up. Thieves made off with a 17ft red canoe that had been reported stolen – after telling the police they were going sledging in it.

Officers had flagged down the pair following reports the canoe had been taken from its garden mooring during the snowstorms on Monday.

But incredibly the police were happy to let the men go when the thieves told them they had been allowed to borrow it to take it sledging.

Owner Norman Maver, 58, who has had the Canadian canoe for more than 30 years, said he could not believe police would be so naive.

He said: “They came out responding to a call about a bright red, 17ft canoe that had been reported stolen and found these guys dragging it up the street.

“These big burly guys will have really struggled to get it out of my garden where it was locked in. It’s a hundredweight and usually takes a few people to shift it.

“My neighbour told me he saw them struggling to drag it up the road and were banging it on cars as they went.

“He called the police but when they arrived the thieves just told them they had permission to go sledging in it and that was that. They just let them go on their way.

“I don’t know about anyone else but I have never seen a 17ft canoe going sledging before. It’s insane. For the police not even to take their names when they are on a call about a stolen canoe is ridiculous.”

The boat bandits, who struck at about 6.30pm on Morven Street, in Drumbrae, were stopped by officers on neighbouring Durar Drive.

They were questioned about what they were doing with it, but were sent on their way after the police fell for their slippery tale.

Dad-of-two Mr Maver only found out the following day after going to report it himself at a police station.

He was horrified when a member of staff told him it had already been logged and dismissed as a misunderstanding.

The watersports fan said he has taught about 300 people how to canoe in the second-hand boat he bought from a classified advert in the Evening News three decades 

It has been used on various sponsored rides along the Union Canal and the River 

Mr Maver said he hoped police would be able to trace it and that it would be returned in one piece.

He said: “The funny thing is that lots of people do borrow it. The difference is, they always ask first.

“It’s an old friend and I really want it back. It’s irreplaceable to me, we’ve had it that long.”

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm a complaint has been received relating to the police response following the theft of a canoe from an address in Morven Street on Monday, January 21.

“The matter will now be thoroughly investigated and the complainer will be fully updated as to the progress of this investigation.”

The lay of the law

A POLICE officer can stop and question you in the street if you are suspected of committing an offence, or the officer believes that you have witnessed a possible offence.

You are expected to be co-operative. You will be asked for your name and address. If you give a false name and address you are committing an offence.

Police can carry out stop and searches without a warrant if there are reasonable grounds to suspect you possess stolen property, drugs, an offensive weapon, £1000 cash thought to be from crime, fireworks, alcohol at some sporting events, and evidence in relation to the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.