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Man faces theft charge

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man is facing a felony charge in Martin County. Darren Allen Dollen, 28, has been charged with theft, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On July 9, 2020, a Fairmont police officer received a report of a stolen Suzuki 25HP boat motor and two marine-grade batteries that were stored in black battery boxes. The alleged victim of the theft stated that he last saw the boat motor and batteries attached to his boat the evening prior. The man stated that the boat was parked in his driveway which is located on the north side of his residence.

On February 24, 2021, another officer received a call from the man who stated that he had reason to believe that his stolen boat motor was located at Dollen’s residence. The man described the location of Dollen’s residence and stated that the boat motor should be located in or near the garage.

The man described the boat motor, which is black in color and has a silver fin attached to the lower unit. A relative of the man later provided the serial number for the boat motor.

The officer went to Dollen’s residence and observed a black boat motor with what appeared to be a silver fin attached to the lower unit in the garage. The officer was able to contact Dollen by phone, and Dollen denied recently acquiring a black boat motor. After failing to obtain Dollen’s consent to perform a search, the officer obtained a search warrant for the residence.

Officers executed the search warrant the same day. An officer was able to locate the serial number on the black boat motor in the garage, which matched the number provided, but officers were unable to locate the top cover to the motor of the stolen batteries.

An officer later spoke with another relative of Dollen, who reported that Dollen admitted to stealing a boat motor in the late summer of 2020 and that the boat motor had been in Dollen’s garage since that time. The woman also claimed that Dollen had tried selling the boat motor, but was unsuccessful.

Dollen was later interviewed at the Law Enforcement Center. He claimed to have never seen the boat motor that was located in his garage. Dollen admitted to working for a company that parked its vehicles in proximity to the alleged victim’s property that the motor had been stolen from. The man’s insurance carrier assigned a replacement value of $4,080.25 to the boat motor.

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