Former firefighter accused of stealing department’s boat

A former firefighter is accused of stealing a rescue boat from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue, according to court documents.

Police recovered the boat the next day and searched the man’s house, finding other items — including a stretcher — that belonged to the fire department.

Prosecutors recently charged the man, Bryan D. Mellenthin, 21, in Island County Superior Court with two counts of burglary in the second degree, theft of a motor vehicle, malicious mischief and theft in the second degree.

If convicted of the charges, Mellenthin could face up to a year and 10 months in prison under the standard sentencing range.

North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Brown said Mellenthin was a volunteer firefighter last year but was fired for not showing up for a length of time. He said the boat in question was an older one that was replaced by a newer, larger rescue boat.

Brown said some of the items police found in Mellenthin’s home had been stolen in an earlier burglary.

According to the police report, a man on July 17 reported that Mellenthin had stolen the boat and left it near his house in base housing.

Police found the boat in a parking lot. Someone had peeled off the fire department decals and painted over other identifying marks.

Mellenthin confessed to stealing the boat, the police report states. He said he gained access to the Heller Road fire station at night with an access code he got from a firefighting friend.

He hooked the boat up to a van and brought it to his house.

The police searched Mellenthin’s home and found a fire department portable radio, two fire department coats, rescue rope and a stretcher.