Owners Reclaim Their Boat after Boat Chase on Mississippi River

An alleged boat bandit was arrested Sunday in Cape Girardeau after a high speed boat chase on the Mississippi River. Richard A. Futrell, 44, of Cape Girardeau is charged with one Class B felony count of stealing for appropriating a watercraft without consent after having been found guilty of two previous stealing-related offenses within 10 years. The owner of the boat and a second man who reported the theft saw a man matching Futrell’s description traveling north in the stolen boat near the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge about 6:45 a.m., police say. A video of the stolen-boat sighting was captured from the bank of the Mississippi River and shared on social media later that night by one of the men. The footage shows the stolen boat floating near the bridge, then speeding away from the area after the men shout for the driver to return the vessel to shore. Police say the two men later located Futrell aboard the stolen boat near the Diversion Channel boat ramp. More videos shared on social media show the two men receiving assistance from a pair of local boaters and pursuing the stolen vessel until eventually forcing it to a stop and confronting the alleged thief. Futrell later admitted to taking the boat from the Red Star Boat Dock area due to another unknown male subject telling him to drive it to Memphis” and claimed to have fled from the pursuing boats due to not knowing them, police say.

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