A Richland man paddling on the Columbia River a week ago tried to sell his wooden kayak to people along the shore.
The problem is the handmade boat didn't belong to Marshall Wayne Luke, prosecutors said.
He got caught when one woman he allegedly approached turned out to be the actual owner.
Now Luke, 50, is charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree trafficking of stolen property.
Luke pleaded innocent and faces a Sept. 29 trial.
The kayak was stolen some time overnight July 7 from the roof of the victim's vehicle. The woman reported it missing July 8 and told police the kayak had wooden inlay all over it.
Then on July 27, the owner was at Howard Amon Park in Richland putting people into kayaks when she saw her own kayak on the water.
The woman reported that Luke paddled up to the beach and offered to let her buy the kayak, court documents said. She identified the kayak as belonging to her, then asked someone to call Richland police.
When officers arrived, she showed them a picture of the stolen kayak which matched the one that Luke was trying to sell, documents said.
Luke, in an interview with police, said he'd had the kayak for two to three weeks.
He claimed he had seen the kayak earlier on top of a car and wanted it, so he told a man named "Nick" to steal it for him and in exchange Nick would get a bicycle from Luke, court documents said.
Luke said he told Nick where to find the kayak and what it looked like, and Nick later returned with the boat to complete the trade, documents said.
Luke admitted that he wanted to sell the kayak, and reportedly told officers that he went to the shore and asked people about buying it.
The kayak was returned to its owner.
Luke is being held on $7,500 bail in the Benton County jail.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; email@example.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer