(NECN: Brendan Monahan, Worcester, MA) – Fed up with thefts, a local MA business owner took matters into his own hands.
The owner of a kayak rental business was tired of seeing his kayaks stolen, so he decided to plant a GPS device in several of them. His plan helped him catch a kayak thief.
Employees at boating in Boston’s Hopinkinston State Park location spent much of their summer this year mystified over how to stop dozens of their kayaks from disappearing.
“We tried locking things up tighter and what not but the person got into everything,” said owner Michael Aghajanian.
The owner says in the past month he couldn’t handle someone stealing his boats any longer.
“I'm pretty persistent so I brainstormed and we had a few more stolen a few weeks ago,” said Aghajanian. “I felt defeated.”
Aghajanian was determined to win though. He purchased GPS tracking devices and put out two brand new kayaks as bait for the robber, who police say is 33-year-old Matthew Alexander of Southborough.
When Alexander allegedly stole a kayak late Monday night, Aghajanian used the GPS to track him down while he called police.
“I didn't care if we lost more boats my goal was to catch him,” said Aghajanian.
Police and Aghajanian spotted Alexander in Framingham and, after going back to his home, recovered 17 kayaks in all, worth more than $20,000.
Neighbors say Alexander was selling them from his front lawn.
“I saw 2 or 3 cars there buying the kayaks,” said one neighbor.
Alexander was released without bail but police say he will be facing more charges this week.
Aghajanian says finding the robber and recovering the kayaks has him feeling victorious.
“Thrilled, absolutely,” the owner said. “The only person who looks out for your business is yourself.