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August 6, 2011

'Pirate' boaters charged in robbery bid

A 30-year-old Gloucester man and 37-year-old Ipswich resident, piloting a small motor boat while flying the "skull and crossbones" flag of pirate ships of old, allegedly boarded and tried to rob a sailboat moored in Gloucester's Inner Harbor, only to be turned back by the boat's occupant and cornered by the U.S. Coast Guard in, coincidentally, Pirates Cove.

Scott D. Stanton, 30, of 25 Echo Ave., Gloucester, and Stephen Jette, 37, of Ipswich, were arrested by Gloucester police late Thursday night and each arraigned Friday on a charge of breaking and entering in Gloucester District Court.

Stanton was also charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony, threatening to commit a crime and intimidating a witness.

According to police, the incident played out in the East Gloucester coves and Inner Harbor, where sailboat owner Douglas Campbell of Beverly had taken a transient mooring for his vessel for the night.

Police said Campbell was awakened when the two would-be robbers pulled their vessel alongside his, then boarded the sailboat. But when he confronted the two men, the pair retreated to the outboard and sped off.

Campbell told authorities that the motorboat was flying the traditional black-and-white pirate flag of the "skull and crossbones." The boat was located in Pirates Cove by the Coast Guard on one of the city's Homeland Security surveillance cameras.

Campbell had called the Coast Guard after the incident, and the Coast Guard called the Gloucester Police Department, which sent a pair of officers, Brian J. Aiello and Sgt. Tom Williams, to go by water with the Coast Guard. Two other officers, Patrolmen Kevin Mackey and Kevin Muise, also drove to the Smith's Cove and Pirates Lane area and searched for the vessel used in the reported robbery attempt, according to the police report.

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