Prevent watercraft theft this summer

Boats should be properly stored while docked, on trailers


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – This time of year is the busiest time for watercraft thefts, but there are ways you can prevent your boats and jet skis from being stolen while you're having fun in the sun this summer.

"Some people don't properly secure (boats) at the docks," said Cpl. Dave Rosado, of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. "They can be towed away. All you have to do is cut a line."

The Sheriff's Office said the county has had 20 watercraft thefts since January 2013, and with Memorial Day weekend approaching soon, more people will be out on the water.

"During the summertime months people leave their vessels on the dock, let's say on a Saturday night, because they're going to go out Sunday morning," Rosado said. "They need to keep an eye on it and keep it properly stored."

Rosado said if you leave your boat at the dock to venture onto land try, try to dock the boat in sight and in a populated area.

And don't make the most common mistake of leaving your keys behind.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Florida is hit harder than any other state when it comes to watercraft theft last year, with 1,310.

California came in second with 628 thefts, followed by Texas with 382. Washington took the No. 4 spot with 208, followed by Georgia with 182.

It's not just boats and personal watercraft.

"We do have a problem with trailer thefts as well," Rosado said.

If the boat is in your driveway, don't park it facing the street. Lock your wheels to the trailer, and install security cameras and/or tracking lights by your driveway or dock.

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