Marine Theft Prevention

Thousands of boats and motors are stolen every year. Most stolen boats and equipment are resold and thieves pocket the profit. This also means millions of dollars are stolen because:

1.Crime victims must replace boats, motors and equipment.
2.Boat owners must pay higher insurance fees.
3.Taxpayers must pay for time law enforcement agencies spend on investigations

A. KNOW YOUR ENEMY:
Thieves often steal boats under 20' because boats are easily transported and stored. Many of these boats are similar and harder to identify.

Favorite Times:

1.When owners are not around
2.Before daybreak
3.Just before sunset
4.During the off season
5.During bad-rainy weather

B. KNOW YOUR VESSEL:

1.Know your hull identification number.
2.Know your registration number
3.Do not leave registration card on board when not in use
4.Photograph or videotape your boat, include HIN and registration number - IN COLOR
5.Keep copies of registration and titles at home

C. KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE ON BOARD:

1.Make a list of what you have on board
2.Make sure your insurance covers the equipment
3.Engrave additional hidden HIN's or identifiers
4.Engrave your gear
5.Mark flotation devices, covers, sail with waterproof marker

D. LOCK THIEVES OUT:

1.Install dead bolt locks or strong padlock with hasps
2.Add small locks and fasteners to windows
3.Secure outboard motors through transom with bolts and clamping locks
4.Put spare trailer tire in trunk of car

E. STORE YOUR BOAT IN A SAFE PLACE

1.Lock boat to trailer
2.Lock trailer tongue or lock to tree or other secure object
3.Keep boat, trailer and motor out of sight in fenced area or locked building
4.Park car between trailer and wall
5.Use trailer hitch lock at all times
6.Put spare trailer tire in trunk of car
7.Do not make your driveway an easy target

F. AT MARINA

1.Back boat into slip
2.Insist on good lighting
3.Secure boat at slip, chain and lock
4.Know your neighbors
5.Visit boat at random times
6.Inform the dockmaster who can be on board
7.Inform dockmaster if boat will be gone for trip or repairs

G. OTHER TIPS:

1. Install a kill switch in a hidden location
a. Remove propellers
b. Remove spark plugs

H. TIPS ON BUYING A BOAT OR OUTBOARD MOTOR:

1.Compare registration and title to boat and motor, make sure HIN or serial number matches the boat and motor and is not altered
2.Make sure all serial numbers are on outboard motors and other equipment
3.Be careful of buying if price is too low for value
4.Do not buy if seller cannot produce ownership documents such as registration card or title, if required

For more information, please email questions to Lt. Rachel Zechenelly rzechenelly@wlf.louisiana.gov