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More than $200K in boat motors stolen this year in St. Johns County

Deputies investigate 3rd report of boat motor theft in 3 months

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – More than $200,000 worth of boat motors have been stolen in three separate thefts so far this year, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies are investigating the rash of boat motor thefts that continues to sweep through the county, including the latest incident that happened sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning at Mini Storage North on Avenue B in St. Augustine. 

The latest victim told News4Jax on Tuesday that he doesn't blame the storage facility at all, but he said he's frustrated that he now has to go through his insurance company to file a claim. 

Bill Irvin said he got a call Monday morning from the manager of the storage facility off U.S. 1, where he stores his Yamaha 150.

"He asked me if I could come down and take a look at my boat, so I thought, maybe someone hit it with something or something like that," Irvin said. "He goes, 'I went down and someone has cut the fence behind the boat.' And he said, 'You motor is gone.' So I went down and my motor was gone."

Irvin's boat motor weighs 500 pounds and cost nearly $13,000. Deputies said the thief managed to make off with it by cutting through the wire fence surrounding the storage facility. 

"It was, kind of, a little insulting. They took the bolts out of the motor and took the motor off and then they put the bolts back on that held that motor on. So they were neat thieves," Irvin said. 

Earlier this month, deputies said, thieves cut though the chain-link fence of Premier Boat & RV Storage on Agricultural Center Drive and made off with four motors, which had a combined value of $80,000. 

In February, deputies said, nine motors valued at $118,000 were stolen from another storage facility -- Southeastern RV and Boat Storage on St. Johns Parkway.

Fortunately, Irvin said he has insurance, and he hopes to have his boat fitted for another motor. But Irvin added that he will be more careful in the future. 

The storage facility where the latest boat motor theft occurred did not have surveillance cameras. In the previous two thefts, however, deputies said that there were cameras and they were able to review the footage.