The third suspect in a watercraft theft ring dating back to last year pleaded guilty late last week to receiving and concealing stolen property. 20 year old Christopher Wagner of Saginaw county joins Brent Schmidt and Aaron Vaughn in now being scheduled for sentencing later this summer. Police say the trio, who were friends, stole a boat and several jet skis on Roscommon, Gladwin and Midland counties, worked on them at a Saginaw County home and attempted to sell them in St. Clair County.
The trio was caught after stealing parts from a snowmobile and jet ski salvage yard in Midland late last year. They also stole a trailer and jammed the trailer full of stolen parts. With the cooperation of salvage yards in Saginaw County, police were able to get a plate number of the truck that was pulling the trailer when the suspects attempted to sell the parts that were stolen from Mickey's Sleds and More in Midland County.
Chad Daughenbach helps run the store and he says he started calling salvage yards after two separate thefts late last year. Thanks to his resourcefulness, the suspects were apprehended, and he discovered to his surprise, that he knew them, especially Vaughn.
Daughenbach says they feel betrayed. "We'd let him take parts and come back and pay on Friday so he could go riding that weekend and its just kind of like... Thank you," he said.
Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel says the thieves were crafty but leaving the trailer was a critical mistake. "They thought they were being extremely smart by starting out of Roscommon and Midland county, bringing it to Saginaw county, stripping it and taking it to other counties to sell it."