TUMPAT: A teenager who allegedly tried to break the chain and lock around the engine of a boat ended up being tied to a tree by villagers.
Boat owner Rahim Yusoff, 54, said villagers alerted him when they saw the youth loitering outside a shed where the boat was kept.
In the 2.30pm incident on Wednesday, Rahim immediately rushed to the scene and saw the suspect trying to smash the mooring chain.
"I got there in the nick of time to save my boat. Otherwise it would have been gone as it was already out on the water," Rahim said at his village, Kampung Jubakar Pantai, here.
Rahim said he caught hold of the teenager and tied him to a tree with the help of other villagers.
The suspect was then handed over to the police.
Rahim always keeps his boat locked because thefts are common in the area.
"The thieves steal boats and siphon petrol," said Rahim, who depends on the boat to earn a living.
"I got this boat through the Government's E-Kasih aid scheme.
"I am not wealthy. I would have a hard time if I were to lose this boat," he said.
Tumpat acting OCPD Supt Mohamed Zulmazi Che Daud said police have obtained a four-day remand order on the 18-year-old suspect.
"We are investigating the case under Section 379 of the Penal Code (for theft)," he said.