The Marco Island Police Department would like to remind our boating neighbors to be pro-active in the prevention of the theft of fuel and other items from their boats.
There are several commercially produced devices that will deter or slow thieves from stealing fuel, including locking gas caps and anti-siphon devices. While more complex and expensive, some boaters have multiple fuel fittings, with the fake or faux fittings readily visible and the real fitting hidden from view. Finally, the bad guys can’t take what isn’t there. Mariners by nature like to be prepared and many like to have their vessel’s fuel topped-off at all times. This procedure is no doubt opportune for the boater who doesn’t want to be inconvenienced by fueling before their next outing or trip, but is also exceptionally convenient to the thief.
Boat owners can reduce the risk of theft by the following methods which include:
Moving the boat lift’s electrical power shut-off inside your house or garage.
- Securing the boat to the lift.
- Securing the lift to the dock
- Install an alarm system on your dock.
- Install a GPS enable alarm system on your boat.
- Installing covert fuel cut-off or ignition / battery switches.
- Exterior lighting that shines on your vessel and dock.
- Remove the keys from your boat when on the lift.
- Removing all valuables to include GPS, Radar, and Radios.
Boats on trailers have specific vulnerabilities. Use the strongest locks and chains available to secure the boat and trailer. Lock boats or personal watercraft to their trailer. Lock the trailer to something secure or install a hitch lock. Lock outboard motors to the vessel transom. There are specialized products available for this use. Use good, heavy-duty hardware on doors, windows, and portholes. Keep the curtains closed. Store your boat in a protected location at home when able to do so. Take your keys home with you at the end of the day. Purchase and install an alarm system. Consider hiring a professional boat watching service.