A spate of marine robberies around the country indicates that although the economy is slowly improving, it might not be rebounding quickly enough for some.
From copper wiring and aluminum boat docks sold for scrap, to yellow pine for repairing boats, to boats themselves, several robberies occurred in January, according to news reports.
In Yorktown, Va., The Waterman’s Museum said thieves stole $1,500 worth of boatbuilding lumber from inside the museum’s gates.
“It wasn’t good for anything except fixing or building boats,” volunteer Harry Hart said in a release, The Virginia Gazette reported. “They knew what they were looking for and they took only what they wanted — yellow pine. They just left the white oak where it was sitting.”
The loss of the wood leaves the museum in a difficult situation as it tries to move forward on boat restoration and building projects. That's because the correct wood is hard to find, especially in the winter.
Also in Virginia, police arrested a man they think stole five boats on trailers from the Norfolk Marine Co. after shooting a watchdog twice.
The guard dog was injured, but lived. The boats and trailers were discovered in a parking lot, but a motor and other equipment were missing, The Virginian Pilot reported.
Security cameras at the marine company captured images of the thieves’ vehicles and license numbers.
In Luzerne County, Pa., state troopers are looking for thieves who broke into locked storage buildings at Moon Lake Park and stole copper wiring and eight aluminum boat docks, according to Channel 16, WNEP.
Police told WNEP that they’ll check at scrapyards for the docks, which they suspect the thieves have already cut into pieces.
Robert Makaravage, of R.J. Marine Sales in Wilkes-Barre, sells docks similar to the ones stolen and told WNEP that he’s not surprised to hear thieves took boat docks locked in storage for the winter.
“Aluminum is quite expensive today,” he said. “A section like this here would run between $600 and $800. It’s portable; it’s easy to carry off.”
Farther west, in Hartland, Mich., police said two teenagers stole a boat from the owner’s company property and sold it to a recycling center for $100.
Police said the boat was worth $2,500, according to the Hartland Patch. It was recovered from the salvage yard and returned to the owner.
One of the teens was planning to sell the motor online.