Collier law enforcement holds boat theft prevention forum

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Local law enforcement are reminding Southwest Florida residents to secure their boats as thefts are on the rise.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office, the Naples Police Department, the Marco Island Police Department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hosted a Boat Burglary and Theft Prevention Forum Thursday afternoon at the Professional Development Center.

“It’s probably something that’s not going to stop. Whenever there’s some type of commodity that people want, they’re going to do whatever they can to take it,” said Sgt. Brian Sawyer, with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

More: Cape man scares off would-be burglar who attempted to steal boat motor

Safety and crime prevention tips were offered from the sheriff’s office investigation division and marine bureau.

Harry Julian owns a charter company called Pure Florida and said crooks are after more than just boat motors.

“Gear boxes on the lower ends is easy, it’s four bolts. You pull the gear box off, that’s $5,000 on some of these boats,” Julian said.

Boat owners are advised to install extra locks, security cameras and lights to protect themselves from thieves.

“We want to make this community as safe as we can and make it annoying as it can be for somebody to come here and take items,” Sawyer said.

Law enforcement also suggests adding a GPS device to track their boats.

More: Boat tracking systems can prevent theft

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