Frank Rainer Schmith, 52, was caught by police officers spraying paint on the stolen boat in an apparent attempt to modify it and cover up the evidence. The boat was in a garage next to his house in Moo 3 village of Taling Ngarm sub-district of Koh Samui district.
The police were acting on a complaint filed by Fernando Caracini, 64, the boat’s owner, who suspected Mr Schmith had taken the boat. They were led to the suspect’s house by Mr Caracini.
Mr Caracini said he recently bought a 10-seat speed boat worth 750,000 baht from Chon Buri to use for fishing around the island. Mr Schmith, a speedboat engine mechanic, came to his holiday home in Taling Ngarm and asked to buy it for 300,000 baht but his offer was declined.
Mr Caracini then docked the boat at his home before he and his wife went to Italy only to return home and found it had disappeared.
The Italian said he was pretty sure the boat had been stolen by the German. He then spent several days trying to “gather information” to locate the boat and then led police to Mr Schmith's house.
Mr Schmith allegedly confessed to the theft and said he felt sorry for what he had done. He apologised to Mr Caracini.