Boat owners in South Holland are being warned to look out for thieves after an engine was stolen in Surfleet.
Rod Filby (74) has been left with a £2,500 repair bill after his boat was damaged and left without its engine on Sunday night.
‘I’d put a security device on my engine but they still managed to take it which is quite disturbing’Rod Filby (74) of Surfleet
The theft came after figures from security marking firm Datatag showed that engine, or outboard motor, thefts jumped by more than 40 per cent between January and July last year.
Rod said: “At about 11.30pm on Sunday, thieves came up the River Glen and took my boat away before cutting out the engine using boltcutters.
“I’d put a security device on my engine but they still managed to take it which is quite disturbing
“They then left the boat drifting on the river having smashed my security camera and cut the wires on the security light, causing about £2,500 pounds worth of damage.
“This was the second theft that I know of in the past four weeks after a friend of mine had his engine pinched.
Rod’s neighbour in Surfleet, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s been going on for a number of years and the week before last, the engine on my boat was stolen when it was actually out of the water, in the back garden.
“We don’t know who’s doing it but I do know that whilst it used to happen once every three years before, now we’re looking at once every three or four weeks.
“It’s vandalism, as well as theft, and with the rate at which it’s happening now, you wonder whether it’s worth having a boat.”
A Royal Yachting Association spokesman said: “Outboard motors are relatively simple to steal, especially compared to integral motors, and they can be high-value items that are expensive to acquire legitimately.”
Anyone with information should call 101, quoting incident number 142 of May 2.