'Keep your boats secure'

PUBLISHED: 15:43 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:10 15 June 2010

THE police are warning boat owners across the area about the rise in maritime crime. Theft and criminal damage inflicted on boats in Devon and Cornwall over the last five years now stands at around 40 incidents a month. The police believe the numbers coul

THE police are warning boat owners across the area about the rise in maritime crime.Theft and criminal damage inflicted on boats in Devon and Cornwall over the last five years now stands at around 40 incidents a month.The 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 culprit 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. "We were a little late getting out and 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 out, we would have been gone." The 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 said under-reporting of crimes meant the police were unable to accurately gauge the scale of the problem.He said: "If you have your outboard stolen, tell us. "They have a serial number which we can put on our computer and that information will be available nationally. "If things are not reported, then we'll never know.

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