BLYTHE – A joint investigation between Lake Havasu City Police Department and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department yields a suspected boat chop shop with significant ties to the Blythe area.
Responding to a report of a stolen jet boat, a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Colorado River Station investigated the theft which occurred at McIntyre Park. The boat’s owner had stored his vehicle at this RV park along the Colorado River in the unincorporated area of Blythe, California where it was discovered missing.
During the initial investigation, which occurred on February 25, parts of the missing boat including its engine were recovered at Jet Boats Plus located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The boat’s hull was also discovered where it had been dumped in Fort Mohave, Arizona. At this time authorities began to suspect an active chop shop operation and a joint investigation between Lake Havasu City Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department ensured. Leads into the case suggested Jet Boats Plus as the location of the chop shot.
On March 27, Randolph Letcher, Jr., 41, owner and operator of Jet Boats Plus, was suspected as the operator. Detectives obtained a warrant to search property he rented at Lost Lake Resort in the River Communities area north of Blythe. The search at the unoccupied residence yielded a stolen jet boat, the boat’s trailer, and a stolen 5th wheel trailer.
Further search warrants for Letcher’s residence and business were obtained. In these searches authorities discovered several boats with altered hull identification numbers, a stolen travel trailer, a stolen boat engine, miscellaneous boats parts, suspected methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia which were seized. The property was believed to be valued at $500,000 and investigators are still seeking the owners of much of it.
Letcher was arrested and charged him with conducting a boat chop shop, possession of stolen property, possession of dangerous drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is currently in the custody of Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities are also requesting that Riverside County District Attorney’s Office file multiple counts of vehicle theft and possession of stolen property against Letcher and arrest warrants be issued for him.
HavasuNews: Man arrested on chop shop, drug charges