Thieves pose hazard for boaters

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The city of Tampa had the second most watercraft thefts of any city in the country during the last few years, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The study of watercraft thefts from 2009 through May 31, 2011 shows Tampa had 202 watercraft thefts – 43 more than Fort Lauderdale, which ranked third on the list. Miami had the greatest problem, as 668 boats were stolen there during the same timeframe.

Florida leads the nation in watercraft thefts and has nine of the top 11 cities on the bureau's list. Nearly a quarter of all watercraft thefts happen in Florida.

Of course, Florida has more registered recreational vessels than any other state, followed by Minnesota and Michigan, according to the Coast Guard.

Click here for the full news report for the Tampa region.

Overall, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported a decrease in watercraft thefts between 2009 and 2010 in its latest report on watercraft thefts and recoveries in the United States.

The report examines thefts and recoveries from Jan. 1, 2009, through May 3, 2011, as contained in the National Crime Information Center for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, there were 16,115 reported watercraft thefts during the period. There was an 11 percent decrease in thefts from 2009 (7,485) to 2010 (6,663). Of the total reported thefts for the period, 6,343, or 39 percent, of the watercrafts were recovered.

Florida led the states with the most thefts, followed by, in descending order, California, Texas, North Carolina and Michigan. The top five for recoveries, also in descending order, were Florida, California, Texas, Washington and North Carolina.

Of the thefts where a boat type was indicated, the “all other” category recorded the most thefts. That includes canoes, dinghies, dories, johnboats, kayaks, lifeboats, paddleboats, sculls and skiffs. Behind “all others” were, in descending order, personal watercraft, runabouts, utilities and cruisers.

Click here for the full report.