The past four months have seen a spike in boat thefts on Marco Island. The Marco Island Police Department believes that four recent boat thefts are part of a coordinated operation throughout Florida. Investigations are ongoing.
Four boat thefts occurred on Marco Island between May 6 and September 6, 2018. The thefts all took place in Smokehouse Bay, within a one-mile radius of each other. The recent boat thefts share numerous other commonalities, such as:
- All are Yamaha 300hp or more.
- All have a high fuel capacity.
- None are newer then 2015.
- All had minimum security.
- The power supplied to the lift was on.
In 2016, the National Insurance Crime Bureau ranked Florida as the top state for watercraft thefts.
The best thing boat owners can do is to use discretion when storing and securing their boats. Some helpful security tips are:
- Do not leave keys on the boat.
- Lock lift controls, or cut off the power supply.
- Use motion detector lights around the boat.
- Dock lights or security cameras should be powered on.
- When storing your boat for a long period of time, chain it to the lift.
- Place a GPS tracking device on the boat to alert you when the boat moves location.
- If out of town, ask a neighbor or friend to check on your boat daily so that authorities can be alerted of a theft as soon as possible.