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In addition to the canoe, police found related gear and pieces of a missing bicycle.
This 16-foot canoe was found wrapped in burlap and buried not far from where it was stolen in Roanoke.
Travis Ray Asbury
Scott Edward Flannagan
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Roanoke police arrested two men Monday and charged them with stealing a canoe, paddles, fishing poles and a bicycle from a southwest Roanoke home.
The 16-foot canoe was found wrapped in burlap and buried in a shallow grave of sorts, not far from where it was stolen.
The red canoe was reported stolen May 16 after its owner noticed it missing from his backyard in the 1600 block of Roanoke Avenue, along with his children’s paddles and fishing poles, police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson said. A week earlier, the same man had reported his blue 1990s five-speed Schwinn bicycle stolen from his front porch as well.
When the canoe was stolen, owner William “Watson” Martin contacted Roanoke Times outdoors columnist Mark Taylor and asked him to get the word out. Taylor posted the canoe’s picture and description on his Wild Life blog May 17, and it appeared in print on Monday.
After receiving a tip through Taylor, Martin phoned police and went to a home in the 1200 block of Cleveland Avenue, where the canoe was supposedly hidden in some dirt.
Officer J.E. Kaufmann was already there, as was a man later identified as Scott Edward Flannagan.
“We looked over the fence, and I said, ‘Tell me that’s not a canoe,’ ” Martin said. “And I just thought to myself, ‘I’m going to jump the fence and pull that burlap bag off the canoe.’ ”
A search warrant affidavit filed by Detective E.L. Hopkins says Martin hopped the fence “against Officer Kaufmann’s urging and advice.” Martin disputes that.
Regardless, Martin “then became engaged in combat” with Flannagan, Hopkins wrote. Flannagan, who jail records indicate also goes by the alias “Baby Boy,” grabbed Martin by the throat and pushed him through the fence’s gate, Martin said.
Flannagan, 27, was arrested and charged with grand larceny. He bonded out of the Roanoke City Jail and could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Police also charged Travis Ray Asbury, 26, with grand larceny, though Johnson did not comment on his involvement. He remained in jail Wednesday.
None of the three men was charged in the scuffle.
After executing a search warrant at the Cleveland Avenue home, police also found pieces of the Schwinn bike and the fishing poles, court documents show. They were returned to Martin on Monday night.
Martin said he doesn’t regret entering private property and getting into the altercation.
“I think jumping the fence was the best thing I could’ve done at the moment,” Martin said. “All I wanted was my property back and to live in a prosperous city.”
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