The Marine Services Unit of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is advising anyone owning a boat in the Delta to be particularly vigilant due to a recent spike in boat thefts, with more than a dozen thefts reported in Contra Costa alone.
Combined with other neighboring counties, there have been some two dozen boat thefts in recent weeks. Investigators say they have developed a variety of suspects, some of whom are already in custody. The suspects are targeting outboard engines and tower speakers aboard the vessels, which are stolen, stripped and abandoned or run aground. In some cases, Marine Services says, the boats have been set ablaze.
The Marine Services Unit would like to offer some crime prevention tips:
- Always secure your boat, if possible to a dock with a chain.
- Use Motion detection lights and cameras.
- Remove all portable electronics and anything of value from your boat.
- If you are at a marina, ensure you are not piggy-backed onto a private dock.
Please be aware of any suspicious persons or activity. In some of the cases, the suspects appear to be targeting specific boats. Report anything suspicious to local law enforcement by calling 9-1-1. The Marine Services Unit can be reached at (925) 427-8507.