Boats the target for thieves

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 09:03 09/05/2014
12-metre yacht
TARGET: This 12-metre yacht had $5000 worth of property stolen from it while it was moored at Waikawa Marina.

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Picton boaties are urging people to come forward with any information they might have after a spate of boat break-ins during the past week.

Warren Algie said he was gutted to discover $5000 worth of property missing from his son's yacht, after leaving it at Waikawa Marina for about a week.

The 12-metre Beneteau was usually moored in Waikawa Bay, but Algie had brought it inside the marina to do some work on it.

When he returned to the boat on April 30, a satellite phone worth $1500, a VHF radio, some clothing, some seaboots and an "expensive fishing reel" had been taken.

"It didn't look random it looked like it was targeted stuff," he said.

Algie looks after the boat for his son, who lives in Perth. He said they got off lightly compared to some, whose boats had been damaged to gain entry.

"I own a business [in Waikawa] and I've been there for 35 years and it has happened from time to time in the past but this is fairly large scale," Algie said.

The Beneteau break-in was one of eight reported to police during the past week, but more were expected as boat owners checked their boats.

Sergeant Kris Payne, of Picton, said boats both at the marina and on moorings in Waikawa Bay had been targeted, as well as addresses in Beach Rd in Waikawa.

The offenders had taken a small dinghy, boat motors, electronic items, alcohol, food, life jackets and kitchenware, including gas ovens.

Police had been viewing security footage from the marina, which had so far been unsuccessful.

Marlborough marina operations manager Steve McKeown said their marinas were patrolled by security staff day and night.

Many of their customers were based out of Marlborough so staff had been checking boats more vigilantly for any sign of a break-in over the past few days, he said.

They had also emailed their customers, asking them to ensure their boats were still secure.

Payne said this was a good reminder for residents and boat owners in the area to ensure their property was well secured, and to keep their eyes open for any suspicious activity in the area.

"The public probably see a lot of things that they don't want to report for whatever reason or didn't think anything of it but if they can report anything that they think is not quite right and let the police decide whether it's useful or not," he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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