Man arrested for stealing crabs and a boat motor

New Iberia, La -  A New Iberia Man has been arrested for allegedly stealing crabs and a boat motor.

Agents with the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested  42 year old Patrick D. Bourgeois for removing crabs from traps in Vermilion Bay, failing to have a commercial license, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license or vessel license, and possessing over 20 percent of undersized crabs. Commercial crab fishermen are allowed to keep 10 percent of their undersized crab catch of crabs less than 5 inches.

Agents were working the Vermilion Bay area after receiving complaints of someone stealing crabs and traps from commercial fishermen. Agents allegedly observed Bourgeois removing and possessing 198 pounds of crabs from traps belonging to other commercial fishermen.

Crab theft and possession of 10 percent of undersized crabs each carry a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Taking fish without a commercial license, gear license and vessel license each bring a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Bourgeois was also found to be in possession of an outboard with serial numbers that were removed. Agents were able to allegedly determine that the outboard belonged to one of Bourgeois' neighbors that lived several houses down in New Iberia.

Agents executed an arrest warrant and booked Bourgeois in to the Iberia Parish jail for the felony possession of stolen things. The penalty for this charge is up to a $2,000 fine and up to five years in jail.