Southwest Florida boat thefts on the rise

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An increase in crimes involving boats has kept law enforcement — and boat owners — busy.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has filed 91 reports involving theft of boat motors since January 2012, with more than half of those filed this year, according to a report by the News-Press. While the number seems minute compared with other reports of theft, the figure adds up to millions in losses.

Fort Myers resident Vieko Kreis recently suffered the loss of a $100,000 boat. Thieves broke into a warehouse on Crystal Drive, stole Kreis’ truck, hooked up the boat and drove away.

It was last seen Aug. 10 at a gas station on Daniels Parkway, and later it passed through a SunPass tollbooth in Miami. Kreis knows he’ll likely never see it again.

“It’s probably in Cuba or Mexico now,” he said.

Click here for the full report.