Boat theft rising - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

7.18.03

Boat theft rising

Boat owners, beware. That warning today from local authorities, who say vandalism and theft involving boats in the area is on the rise.

Police are trying to put a stop to it. That was the case for one Wilmington boat owner earlier this week. One morning he learned that it was stolen, damaged, and run aground on a concrete ramp. It will cost him $40,000 to repair.

Wilmington Police say these cases of boat vandalism and theft have been steadily on the rise in the past few years. Most of them involve thieves stealing equipment from boats, and they are about to launch a community watch program to prevent what is otherwise a hard-to-crack crime.

"They may not realize it, but we're watching," Officer John Gordon said. "It's just a matter of time." Authorities recommend you take valuables off your boat, or even tie it down with chains.

Reported by: Aaron Saykin

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