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Report shows drop in boat thefts

As many boat owners begin the annual task of winterizing and storing, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that watercraft thefts continue to drop.

The agency’s annual report looks at boat thefts and recoveries in the United States and examines boats that were reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. The report is based on data from the National Crime Information Center database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, 5,181 boat thefts were reported last year, a 6 percent decrease from 2013, when 5,537 were recorded. 2014 was the second year in a row in which boat thefts dropped by 6 percent; in 2012 thefts totaled 5,870.

The top five states for thefts, in descending order, were Florida (1,290), California (507), Texas (386), Washington (201) and North Carolina (169).

Personal watercraft are by far the most stolen at 1,121.

On average, there were about 14 watercraft thefts a day, or 100 a week and 432 a month last year. Most occurred during the spring and summer; the largest number, 667, was recorded in July. February had the fewest at 223.