BoatU.S. Warns of Theft, Offers Tips


A marina in Virginia recently reported that six 600-pound engines were stolen from its facility. According to BoatU.S. the theft is just one example of a crime ring targeting boats, Yamaha outboard engines, Garmin electronics and other navigation units. BoatU.S. claims the crime ring, which has largely struck on the East Coast, has begun to move across the country, targeting boat dealerships and boat-storage facilities. Although law enforcement is on the case, BoatU.S. recommends the following seven tips to prevent theft:

1.) Take a look at your boat storage area. Is it lit at night? Does it have motion-operated lighting or audible alarms? How difficult is it to gain entry? Is there one or multiple ways to enter? Does it have an effective, fully operating video surveillance system? Does the storage facility have signage advising that license plates are being recorded and property is under 24-hour surveillance?

2.) Slow a thief down. Are helm electronics locked behind a solid instrument cover? Use tamper-resistant fasteners for mounting electronics and outboard locking devices. Using a special nut with an engine-mounting bolt that requires a special key can help.

3.) Make stealing expensive electronics less appealing by engraving and posting a warning (this goes for the outboard, too). Create and keep at home an engine and electronics inventory list that includes manufacturer and serial number, and take plenty of pictures – including the boat.

4.) Be wary of suspicious questions. In most of the boat dealership theft cases, a suspect posed as a boat shopper on the day before the theft occurred. For boat owners, loose lips sink ships. Boaters should remain cautious to questions from strangers wanting to know more about access. Get to know your dockside neighbors so you can more readily recognize suspicious activity and people who don't belong.

5.) Consider adding a boat tracking device that can sound an early alarm if something’s amiss.

6.) Yamaha outboard engine owners may want to investigate Yamaha Customer Outboard Protection, or Y-COP. Y-COP is available with the manufacturer’s Command Link (CL) and Command Link Plus (CLP) systems.

7.) Help get the word out. If you are a victim of theft, ask your local law enforcement to share the information on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), a computerized database of documented criminal-justice information available to virtually every law-enforcement agency in the U.S. or add to state crime-tracking databases.

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