They came to the prison island by stolen dinghy then left by Thunder Jet

Boat thieves upgraded their ride before departing a former Puget Sound prison island.

Sometime on Friday a person or persons rode a dinghy to the island, the home of the state’s Special Commitment Center for civilly committed sex offenders, said Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova.

They stole tools and then absconded in a 20-foot Thunder Jet boat owned by the Department of Social and Health Services, which runs the center.

Bova emphasized that all residents of the Commitment Center were accounted for after the watery heist.

McNeil Island was the long time site of a federal and later state prison. It closed in 2011 after 135 years in use.

Anyone who has information regarding the thefts is urged to call WSP detective James Meldrum at 253-538-3174.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor