SAVANNAH, GA (August 16, 2011): A Savannah man already charged in the theft of bronze statues from the yard of auto dealer Ocie Welch, now also has been charged with the theft of a boat he was caught attempting to sink.


Larry Wayne Ford, 42, of a Settlers Point address, was charged with theft by receiving after security officers saw him trying to sink an aluminum boat at the Dutch Island Marina boat dock Aug. 10. A video tape at the ramp shows Ford placing the boat in the water. It didn’t sink completely because it was still tied to the dock.


Savannah -Chatham Metropolitan Police Islands Precinct detectives traced the boat to its owner who told them it had been left without a motor at the Forrest City Gun Club and he had noticed it missing but had not yet reported it stolen. When it was pulled from the water by police, a motor was attached to it.


Witnesses had seen Ford taking items from the boat and placing them in his pickup truck before the boat mysteriously sank at the dock. A woman with him told a security guard the boat belonged to Fredrick Neil Rushing and that Ford was trying to check the serial numbers to determine if it had been stolen.


Rushing, 34, of a Cardinal Drive address, had been charged along with Ford in the theft of the statues on July 28. By the following day Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police had traced one of the statues to Top Dollar Recycling on Tremont Road, two others to Low Country Metals in Hardeeville, SC, two to Southern Recycling on Tremont Road, and had found one in Ford’s garage when they went to his residence to question him.


The two taken to Low Country have not been recovered. Police continue to look for them: one of a marlin and the other of three children and a dog on and around a bench.


Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637). In the body type, include “CStop2020” plus the tip. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.


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