Thieves target pricey equipment on boats

Police in Seabrook and League City say thieves are targeting expensive navigation equipment on boats

February 6, 2012 10:21:11 AM PST
A rash of thefts on the water -- boat owners are on alert and spreading the word about thieves targeting area marinas. One of the most recent marinas targeted was South Shore Harbour in Kemah.

Thieves are stealing electronic equipment on boats that can run into tens of thousands of dollars.

When Gary Kyle docked his boat last weekend he assumed it would be safe until his next adventure. But he was wrong.

"I noticed that the zipper was open, and that's the first thing I looked at then was the electronics," Kyle said. "There were big holes in the deck."

Thieves cut out Kyle's entire navigation system and severed the wiring. All together, repairing the damage will cost more than $15,000.

"They did take a fingerprint, so we'll see what happens," Kyle said.

Seabrook police and League City police are investigating a series of similar thefts.

Seabrook Police Captain Sean Wright said, "We've had about seven reports, hit two different marinas that we know of for sure."

Police say the stolen parts are being re-sold online, not locally, but to people across the US, and even overseas.

"Although they're small in size, they're expensive and easy to sell on an open market," Captain Wright said.

Kyle is having motion detectors and cameras installed now, and he's putting a steel plate cover on his electronics. He's hoping that's enough to keep his property intact in case thieves come back.

"They'll have to tear up the whole boat to get it now," he said.