Dozens of boats broken into

Dozens of boats broken into
By: Carly O'Keefe
Like modern-day pirates, the thieves came in by boat. Broken windows, ransacked cabins and slashed boat covers awaited many boaters this weekend at the Rend Lake Marina.
"They asked us to come down and check our boats, see what was missing, see what was torn up," said boat owner Roger Riley.
For boaters like Riley, a casual day on the lake began by searching the boat top to bottom. The only thing missing on Riley's boat was the in-dash stereo.
A few slips down the dock, Janice Shields examined her boat cover. It was evidently slashed by thieves wanting to get inside.
"They cut it and crawled under," said Shields.
Nothing was stolen from the Shields' boat. Janice's husband says he's learned his lesson from docking in other marinas. He doesn't leave anything on the boat--not even the battery to run it, for fear the boat won't be there when he comes back.
"They're liable to take the boat if you leave it where they can," said Shields.
Folks around the marina say it's not unheard of that a stereo be stolen or an anchor comes up missing, what is unusual is the sheer magnitude of this theft involving 80 boats.
"I've only been down here a couple of years, but I've never had anything missing before," said Riley.
Marv Otten's boat was left alone. He thinks that's because he doesn't have a stereo to steal. But he thinks this event will definitely change what boaters leave behind.
"Instead of leaving everything out where nobody bothers it, now you think about hiding it, locking it up or something. That's a shame because before nobody had to worry about anything," Otten said.
Marine radios, in-dash stereos and fire extinguishers were the most common items stolen. The most expensive item missing is said to be a plasma screen TV off of one of the larger boats.