Two boats and a large amount of fishing equipment were reported stolen over the past few days in the county.
In Marathon, the two boats were stolen sometime between the evening of the 12th and the morning of the 13th. One, a 1987 Wellcraft V20 with a 225 Hp two stroke Mercury engine on it, was taken from behind a house on Harbor Drive in Marathon. The owner said he was working on the boat and last saw it at 7 p.m. on Thursday. He woke the next morning at 7 a.m. and it was gone.
The second stolen boat was a 20 foot long Twin Vee Outrageous with a yellow Bimini top on it. It had two 60 Hp four stroke Mercury engines on it. It was taken from a condominium complex on Anglers Drive. The owner said he last saw it Thursday night when he was working on it. He said he woke at 7 a.m. to find it missing.
In both cases, the owners said they left the keys on the boats.
A large amount of fishing equipment was reported stolen from a boat kept on a trailer at a house on Lobster Lane in Key Largo. The owner said he last saw his equipment on the boat on January 10th. When he checked on it on Friday, it was gone. The stolen equipment included rods, reels and fishing tackle valued at over $2,000.
The Sheriff’s Office would once again like to remind everyone that it is currently our busy season in the Keys; this means we have many more visitors in our county, not all of them here to enjoy themselves. With the influx of people to the Keys, thieves also come here; they are looking out for people who are not mindful of their valuables and property.
It is impossible to prevent all crime from happening, however you can make sure you are making it as difficult as possible for someone to steal your property.
Make sure fishing equipment – and any other valuable property you might have - is secured somewhere safe and not left on board a boat or left unsecured on a dock or outside a building.
If you have a boat, never leave the keys on it; make sure it is parked or docked in a well-lighted area and that the lights are on at night when a theft is most likely to take place. If it is on a boat lift, turn off the electricity to the lift when you are not using the boat. If the boat is kept on a trailer, make sure there is a trailer lock on it so it cannot be easily towed away by thieves.
Most of the time, thieves are looking for an easy target. If your property is not easy to steal, they will move on to somewhere less difficult.
Anyone with information about these or any other crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.