NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A little more than 24 hours after word spread across social media that a boat valued at around $400,000 was stolen from Gore Marine in New Hanover County, it was found in Florida.
“Social media definitely caught this. We had over 423,000 views on social media,” said Tim Gray, the boat’s owner and captain of Beeracuda Fishing Team.
Gray said a lot of fishing teams and fishing pages shared the post of the stolen Onslow Bay 33. He even received a video from a man in Georgia who happened to record the boat being towed down I-95 on Sunday. At the time the man recorded the video, he didn’t know the boat was stolen.
The boat was spotted Tuesday morning at a Motel 6 in Lantana, Florida by someone who saw the now viral post making its rounds.
“A guy coming back from breakfast had seen the posts on social media,” Gray said. After recognizing the boat, the man sent Gray a message, called the police and called Onslow Bay.
Investigators not only found the boat, they also found the stolen truck that was used to haul the boat from North Carolina to Florida. The truck was reportedly stolen from Hampstead. WWAY has reached out to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office for more details on the truck theft.
The boat was taken from Gore Marine at some point over the weekend. It was there for a minor T-Top repair.
On Monday morning, Gore Marine discovered the boat was missing, as well as electronics and motors from other boats.
The thieves allegedly broke through a neighbor’s front gate and then cut through the fencing at Gore Marine.
Gore Marine co-owner Danny Gore said the thieves broke through the neighbor’s gate in order to avoid the security lasers on their gate. They also pushed the neighbor’s truck out of the way in order to get inside.
Gore said the surveillance cameras were also tampered with.
The boat is now on its way back to North Carolina. Gray said nothing was missing from it. Even a pair of sunglasses were still inside.