Boat Burglary & Theft Prevention

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Boat Burglary & Theft Prevention Tips

  • Remove the keys from the boat. If on a lift, turn off the breaker in the home to disable it. Raise the boat to
    the highest level to make it more difficult to board from your dock.
  • Consider using an additional case-hardened steel cable beyond your normal dock lines at a dock or boat lift.
  • Install motion sensor lights or make sure the areas around the boat are well lit.
  • Install surveillance or game cameras and test them to make sure they will capture the face of an intruder.
  • Cameras are often placed too high and often don’t capture faces. Add signage indicating the property is
     under surveillance.
  • Whether on a trailer or in a canal, make sure your boat can be seen by neighbors and deputies patrolling
     the area.
  • Keep your boat cabin locked and the curtains closed.
  • Install a GPS tracking device on your boat and engines to make it easier for law enforcement to locate if
  • Install a boat alarm. Audible alarms are very effective at preventing theft.
  • Disconnect the battery to disable the trim/tilt function. Keep the engine down, touching the ground so the
    lower unit cannot be removed.
  • If your boat is on a trailer, keep the trailer hitch lock on at all times. Chain the rims together or use a wheel boot to prevent the entire boat and trailer from being stolen.
  • Install boat locks on your engine or install extra long engine bolts. Bend the ends of the bolts or destroy the
    threads so nuts can’t be removed.
  • Back the boat up against a stationary object such as a wall or solid structure.
  • Keep valuables and electronics in a secure location and out of sight.
  • Take pictures, record your serial numbers or engrave your drivers license number or other distinctive
    marking on valuable property for identification purposes.
  • If you are gone for an extended period of time, notify a neighbor or request extra patrols of your residence
    to keep an eye out while you are away.
  • Do not leave official documents about your boat (registration, title, etc.) on the vessel.
  • Ensure you have identifying information about your boat (serial numbers, hull number, make, model, etc.)
    readily available in a safe location if it is needed for reporting a theft or identifying your belongings.
  • Remove the steering wheel if the boat won’t be used for an extended period of time.
  • Don’t leave fishing equipment or gear outside. It takes a thief only minutes to steal it.

General Boating Safety

  • Equipment failure can be dangerous and can leave you in a vulnerable position. Keep engines, electronics ,
    fuel and air filters in proper working order.
  • The US Coast Guard requires all vessels to carry certain safety equipment depending on the size of your boat.
     If you are not sure what is required, visit the Coast Guard’s website for a list.
  • Human error remains the leading cause of boating accidents. Learn the rules, your responsibilities, and how
    to safely operate your power, sail, or human-propelled vessel.
  • Boat operators are responsible for the safety of their passengers. Passengers should wear a life jacket at all
     times when on a boat.

     Collier County Sheriff’s Office
    Crime Prevention Unit
     Florida Fish & Wildlife
    Conservation Commission
    South Region
     Marco Island Police Department
     Collier County Sheriff’s Office
    Marine Bureau
     Naples Police and
    Emergency Services
     U.S. Coast Guard
    (Ft. Myers Office)


If you have information about criminal activity that is NOT in progress report it to our tips line at 239-775-TIPS (8477) or email us at