Date: Mar. 25, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Elizabeth City Woman Admits Guilt in Crab Pot Theft Case
MOREHEAD CITY — An Elizabeth City woman admitted guilt and agreed to two years unsupervised probation and other punishments in connection with charges related to the theft of crab pots in Pasquotank County.
A Pasquotank County judge on March 8 approved a deferred prosecution agreement with Carla Winslow Dewald, 42, of 409 Lane Dr., Elizabeth City, in which she admitted guilt to one count of misdemeanor larceny and one count of improper buoys on crab pots. In addition to the probation period, Dewald agreed to perform 40 hours of community service in 180 days and pay fines, fees, court costs and restitution costs totaling $1,238.
“The Division of Marine Fisheries is just not going to stand for commercial fishermen stealing gear from each other,” said Louis Daniel, director of the Division of Marine Fisheries. “We hope that this sends a clear message that Marine Patrol will investigate and prosecute these types of offenders.”
Marine Patrol Sgt. Brian Long arrested Dewald Aug. 20 on a total of 25 charges: eight larceny; eight possession of stolen property; eight robbery and injury to crab pots; and one improper buoys on commercial crab pots. She was accused of stealing 48 crab pots from eight different victims in the Little River in Pasquotank County.
Marine Patrol had received a report from several commercial crabbers that they were missing crab pots and believed they had seen their property in Dewald’s line of pots, Long said. Marine Patrol checked Dewald’s line of pots and found the stolen property, he said.
“It was a case of stealing a little bit from everybody around,” Long said.
The stolen gear has been returned to the victims, Long said, and he credited the victims with making the reports for the outcome of the case.
“This is a case of how when we’re given good information, we’re able to act on it in a timely manner and bring the matter to court,” Long said.
For more information, contact Long at 252-473-1233 or Cbrian.Long@ncdenr.gov.