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NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com/PressRoom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com

WA State Boater Gets Cash Reward for Busting Crime: Stolen Goods Found Online

$2500 from BoatUS; Winter Crime Prevention Tips

Photo Caption: Peter Hunt’s internet sleuthing cracked a local burglary ring on Washington’s Whidbey Island and netted him a $2500 reward from BoatUS.
Download hi-res photo.
 

OAK HARBOR, Wash. March 2, 2011 -- When one Washington State boater had his boat burglarized at his marina, he didn’t take the news sitting down.

 Peter Hunt, of Oak Harbor, Washington, went to the internet, where he found the thieves selling the stolen items taken during a rash of boat burglaries – including his own chartplotter – on eBay. Recently, he brought his internet investigation to the attention of authorities that led to the arrest and conviction of an adult and two teenagers and recovery of over $50,000 in stolen electronic equipment. Over 90% of the goods stolen at Hunt’s marina were recovered and returned to owners.

For his effort in breaking the crime ring – which had burglarized three marinas on North Whidbey Island, WA, as well as 30 cars - Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) honored Hunt with $2500 from its Theft Reward Program. Created to combat the increase in boat theft nationwide, all BoatUS members are automatically enrolled in the program which simply requires the boat owner to affix highly visible, orange theft reward sticker to their vessel.

Winter Anti-Theft Tips:

As winter goes on, BoatUS says boaters, anglers and sailors must remain vigilant about boat theft and burglary and has these tips:

  • Keep your boat locked when you are not aboard. Never leave your keys or valuable items on the boat. BoatUS reports the top three items stolen from boats over the winter are electronics, outboards and outdrives. Remove electronics (if possible) and use a lock on outboards and drives.
  • Continue to make periodic visits to your boat when it’s in winter storage. Keep liquor out of site of prying eyes.
  • If a boat is stored on its trailer, the best way to prevent a theft is to remove one or more wheels.
  • Keep copies of ownership documents, serial numbers and photos of your boat and equipment in a safe place - off the boat for easy access should a loss occur.
  • For more information on how you can prevent becoming a boat burglar’s victim, check out the BoatUS Magazine feature, "Foiling Off-Season Theft," at BoatUS.com/magazine/burglars.

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 About BoatUS:

BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services.  For membership information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.