The end of June saw a spike of boat thefts in Abaco causing a great deal of concern to locals and visiting boaters alike.
At least four boats were reported missing between June 28 and July 3, 2017:
A 29’ Jupiter with twin 250 HP Yamaha engines was reported stolen pout of Tahiti Beach, White Sound. A 26’ Elbow Cay Boat Rentals boat with white hull and a 200 HP Yamaha engine was reported missing out of White Sound.
A 29’ Century with dark blue hull and twin 250 Yamaha engines was reported stolen from North End, Elbow Cay.
A 20’ Albury Brothers boat with a 115 HP Yamaha engine was stolen out of Hope Town.
At least two of the four reported stolen boats had been recovered with minimal damage.
The 29’ Jupiter was allegedly found in Jamaica, though we were unable to verify exactly where or when it was found. The 29’ Century was recovered in Great Cistern Creek.
The Association of Bahamas Marinas issued an update recently from Inspector Darren Robinson of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF). It was noted that reported boat thefts have been on the decline compared to previous years – 30% down compared to the first half of last year.
A large portion of Abaco’s economy consists of catering to boaters who cross the Gulf Stream to enjoy the islands.
As has been reported in this paper before, catching boat thieves has proven challenging and many who are caught have proven to be repeat offenders. Many Abaconians have called for tougher punishment and longer jail time considering the gravity this crime has on residents’ livelihoods.
Authorities continue to espouse being proactive in protecting boats: including installing video cameras, boat locks and alarms.
Treasure Cay resort has recently installed a cable boom harbour chain that prevents unauthorized access to the harbour at night. Treasure Cay resort is also offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of a white, 35’ Contender, “Pa’Ella” or its engines – twin 300 HP Yamaha 4-Stroke engines.