Search underway for banana boat bandit

Search underway for banana boat bandit

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – The search is on for a brazen thief, believed to be caught on camera stealing equipment from a water sports business on the inlet.

Tuesday morning, the owner of Marshwalk Water Sports noticed equipment was missing.

"That's when I pulled up the surveillance video and noticed a boat coming up to the dock at 8:08 p.m. the night before," explained Annie Campbell, the business owner.

Campbell said a banana boat was missing from the dock. She believes the man caught on camera pulled up to the dock and took the deflated watercraft.

"It was rolled up and stored since we aren't open yet for the season," said Campbell.

She filed a police report with the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office and was told by a deputy that he would enhance the video on a different system. She hopes he will be able to get a clearer picture of the boater's face and the ID number on his watercraft.

"Frequent boaters are trying to track the boat to catch the guy. This is Murrells Inlet, it is what we do for each other," said Krystal Dingess, an employee with Dead Dog Saloon.

While deputies investigate, Campbell is doing her own search through social media. She posted still frames of the suspect online. The image was shared hundreds of times and more people are offering help to identify the potential banana boat burglar.

"If they can come up to the dock and steal stuff where there is obviously cameras, what else is going to happen?" Are we the only ones this is happening to? Or is it happening all around the inlet?" questioned Dingess.

Campbell said they are doing this "obviously to catch the guy, but more importantly to send the message that these businesses will not put up with theft. We just want to protect our inlet, the businesses and keep a clean and safe environment for everyone."

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