Petaluma man arrested on suspicion of stealing outboard motor

A Petaluma man was arrested in his hometown on Friday on suspicion of stealing an outboard motor for his rowboat, among other offenses, police said.

Michael Monville, 52, was arrested at about 3:30 p.m. in the 1700 block of Petaluma Boulevard North, along the Petaluma River.

Police said they started investigating the theft of the motor on Oct. 24 when the victim reported the motor and other property missing from his property along Petaluma Boulevard North.

On Oct. 30, a citizen tipped off the Police Department’s homeless outreach team to a rowboat on the west bank of the Petaluma River, just south of the Petaluma Village Premium Outlets mall, police said.

The citizen reported seeing a rowboat with a Mercury outboard motor on it.

Friday at 2:22 p.m., members of the homeless outreach team and the harbormaster from the Petaluma Marina took a boat out on the Petaluma River to where the rowboat was.

When they got there, the team members saw an alleged illegal encampment on the west side of the river near the riverbank, according to police.

Inside the encampment they found Monville who was eventually arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property, camping on a property without permission, violating probation and littering a waterway.

Police said the harbormaster took the motor back to the marina where the motor was later returned to its owner.