Beware marine theft

PUBLISHED: 16:08 17 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:30 10 June 2010

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17: police are warning boat owners about a rise in maritime crime. Theft and criminal damage involving boats in Devon and Cornwall now averages around 40 incidents a month. Police believe the numbers could be higher if all boat owners reported incidents of cr

police are warning boat owners about a rise in maritime crime.Theft and criminal damage involving boats in Devon and Cornwall now averages around 40 incidents a month.Police believe the numbers could be higher if all boat owners reported incidents of crime.Boat owners are being advised to make their vessels as secure as possible to beat the thieves - and remove expensive equipment when not in use.Robert Piercey had his boat, the Avocet, twice broken into while moored at Exmouth.The thief stole fuel and storage tanks - leaving the vessel and crew in potential danger."The fuel that was left in the engine was enough to start it," said Mr Piercey. "Suddenly the engine stopped. We opened the storage cupboard and found there was no fuel"We could have got out as far as the dock entrance. With the tide going, we would have been gone." Police said marine crime was a persistent problem and urged boat owners to help police tackle the problem by reporting every crime.PC Mat Helm, based at Exmouth Police Station, said under-reporting of crimes meant police were unable to accurately gauge the scale of the problem.He said: "If you have your outboard stolen, tell us. The engines have a serial number which we can put on a computer and that information will be available nationally." If things are not reported, police would never know the scale of the problem, he said.

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