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Fisherman on James River locates stolen boat

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A man fishing Monday on the James River saw an overturned boat on shore and called his wife about it.

She then reported the boat to South Dakota State Radio, and it was later determined it was the same boat that was stolen with its trailer over the weekend from the 1300 block of North Rowley Street in Mitchell.

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Detective Lt. Don Everson with the Mitchell Police Division said Tuesday the case is still unresolved when he was asked whether police have any suspects.

Between 9 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday, a black 1999 Yach boat trailer with license number T663858 with a trailered green metal 1999 OMC flat bottom boat with registration number SD414DF were stolen, according to a press release from Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers. The boat had an attached 25 horse outboard motor. The trailer has not been recovered, said Everson. The items are valued at $9,000.

After spotting it, the fisherman uprighted the boat and towed it behind his craft to a landing off S.D. Highway 38, about two miles west of Mitchell.

Initially, because the boat was found upside down, law enforcement was concerned someone may be hurt in the area.

"But after a thorough search of access points, there was no trailer and no vehicle," Everson said. "At that point, they made the decision to not search any further for possibly people in the river."

The Davison County Sheriff's Office, Mitchell Police Division and South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks responded to the scene.

Later Monday, law enforcement recovered an enclosed trailer that was stolen between 3:30 and 10 a.m. Everson was unsure if the enclosed trailer was related to the boat and trailer that was stolen over the weekend, but he said it was possible.

Prior to being stolen, the enclosed trailer was parked in the Palace Mall parking lot. The 5-foot-by-8-foot 2002 Shadow cargo trailer is valued at more than $8,000.

Everson said a Mitchell Police Division officer spotted the trailer at about 10 a.m. Monday near the Lake Mitchell spillway. Once it was reported stolen, another officer knew where the trailer was and recovered the trailer around 4 p.m. in a fishing area on S.D. Highway 37. It appeared someone tried to break into locked trailer, Everson said.

"There are some pry marks on the lock, but they weren't successful in entering the trailer," Everson said.

With both the boat and trailer and the enclosed trailer, neither was secured, Everson said.

"You can put a lock on the receiver portion. Both did not have receiver locks and both were unsecured," he said.

Both crimes have been designated as crimes of the week through Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers.

Any information related to the incidents, or any information regarding suspicious activity in the areas, or information relating to any other crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 996-1700.

You do not have to identify yourself, and a cash reward is available if it leads to the arrest of the subject or subjects involved. There are no caller IDs attached to this phone line, so you will remain anonymous. To send a crime tip via text message, download the free app "Tipsubmit" on a smartphone and select Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers or text "MITCS plus your message" to "274637." Upon receipt of a tipster's first incoming message the system will auto-reply with a confirmation containing the tipster's unique tip ID. Anonymous two-way communication can then occur between the tipster and Investigators. You can also go to www.mitchellcrimestoppers.org to submit a crime tip by e-mail.

Information received through Crime Stoppers remains totally anonymous. Tipsters who provide information to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest(s) will be given a cash reward.

A minimum of $250 is paid for rewards on all "Crime of the Weeks" solved through Crime Stoppers. Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers, Inc offers this reward. Rewards will not be paid if crime tips, leading to an arrest, are not made directly to Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers, Inc. by telephone, text message or by web tip.

To date 346 crimes have been solved through information from Crime Stoppers.

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