May 13, 2014

Detectives issue warnings to marine related businesses

Detectives would like to warn businesses involved in selling or storing boats to check their security cameras, alarm systems or other security related equipment.

“I have information that thefts of marine equipment – including boats, motors and lower units – are increasing in the south Florida area,” said Detective Sgt. Mark Coleman. “Other counties are seeing an uptick in these crimes which means it is only a matter of time before thieves try to strike here in Monroe County,” he said.

While Monroe County has not yet seen an increase in these types of crimes, typically marine thefts of all kinds increase as the summer boating season approaches. Several years ago there was a large number of boat, boat motor and lower unit thefts in the Upper Florida Keys and we also recently saw a spate of rod and reel thefts in the county.

In the past, thieves preying on marine related businesses have posed as customers in order to get a close look at perimeter fencing, cameras and merchandise. They have then returned later, after the businesses close. Often times they enter the business by cutting through chain link fencing and removing the items they are targeting.

Having good perimeter lighting, cutting back brush and trees surrounding the edges of the lot and posting operational security cameras can deter crime, or can help neighbors or passing law enforcement patrols to keep a closer eye on the property. Having dogs on the property will often act as a deterrent as well.

“If you would like us to visit your property and help you check your security, give us a call,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “We can take a look at your property and your business and make some suggestions for making the property more secure. We would rather stop a crime from taking place than respond to it after the fact,” he said.

If you notice anyone in your business who is acting suspiciously or appears to be casing the property with the intent to return later and commit crime, get a detailed description of them and their vehicle. Call us. We can send a deputy by to check them out. If we have their information on record, it gives us a place to start if a crime does occur.

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