Thieves have been targeting power boats and outboard motors in the Port Alberni area for the past several weeks, and the RCMP is cautioning people in the region to secure their vessels.
“Over this past weekend alone, the Port Alberni RCMP had reports of two stolen boats; members on patrol recovered some of the stolen equipment,” said Cpl. Amelia Hayden, Port Alberni RCMP spokesperson.
Sometime between late Friday night and Saturday morning, thieves stole an 18-foot red and silver aluminum boat on its trailer from the 3800 block of Sixth Avenue and drove it to a trail between Mary Street and Josephine Street.
The lock for the motor was cut and the motor removed before the boat was set on fire.
Then sometime after midnight on Saturday night, thieves stole a black 17-foot river boat along with its Highlander boat trailer from in front of its owner’s residence in the 2800 block of Second Avenue. The boat had a 140 HP Suzuki outboard motor attached to it. This boat was later located, off its trailer, on a forestry road southeast of Port Alberni. Again the motor had been taken.
Around 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, while police members were on patrol they located an empty boat trailer in a yard in the 3700 block of Seventh Avenue. Upon closer examination, members were able to identify the trailer as being the one stolen earlier in the day with the river boat.
Further investigation led to the seizure of a truck involved in the theft of the boat as well as location of two other stolen outboard motors, including the one from Friday night.
“We’ve noticed a trend since September. About a half a dozen files have involved the theft of boat motors from trailered boats parked on area streets,” Hayden said.
“We want to remind the public to ensure that their boats and motors are kept secure at all times. Consider using a trailer hitch coupler lock and or a wheel immobilizing boot to prevent the theft of the trailer. Also, ensure the motors are securely locked onto the boat and, when possible, consider removing the motors and storing them in a secure location.”