Bandit caught napping

Bandit caught napping

A Morwell man has been arrested in relation to thefts from boats at Lakes Entrance overnight on Sunday.

The 38-year-old male was found asleep on the job by police after a suspicious member of the community notified them.

A member of the public noticed a man sleeping in a vehicle in the car park opposite the National Australia Bank on the Esplanade.

After being alerted, police went to investigate and discovered the vehicle in which the man was napping had been stolen from Melbourne.

While in the process of waking the thief up, police discovered the vehicle was full of items that had been stolen from two fishing vessels moored at jetties on the Esplanade.

The large booty consisted of fishing and GPS equipment. Further investigations uncovered that the two vessels had been damaged while being entered.

One of the boats, a cabin cruiser, had been released from its moorings and had drifted across to Cunninghame Arm.

The Water Police were called in to retrieve the boat, much to relief of the local owner.

Police believe the man acted alone in carrying out his audacious thefts and has been remanded in custody pending a court appearance.

Police are especially grateful to the alert member of the public who initially notified them of the sleeping man and say public policing is the key to solving local criminal activity.

PICTURED: The Water Police retrieve one of the fishing boats on Monday morning, which was broken into and released from its moorings on the Esplanade in Lakes Entrance. (PS)