More boats are stolen in Florida than any other state, according to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Overall 5,870 boats were reported stolen nationwide in 2012, a 3 percent drop from the 6,070 thefts reported in 2011.
Florida led with 1,408 thefts. The other top states for theft and the number of boats stolen in 2012:
- California, 605
- Texas, 403
- Washington, 214
- North Carolina 184
Those states were in the top five for boat theft the previous year as well. The District of Columbia reported zero boat thefts, and Wyoming and Hawaii each reported one theft.
Jet skis were the most common type of watercraft stolen, followed by runabouts (small motor boats), utility boats, cruisers and sailboats.
Not surprisingly, most boat thefts occur during the spring and summer.
The bureau offers the following tips to prevent boat theft:
- Lock and secure boats to the dock with steel cable.
- Remove expensive equipment when not in use.
- Chain and lock detachable motors to the boat.
- Do not leave title or registration papers in the boat.
- Disable the craft by shutting fuel lines or removing batteries.
- Use a trailer hitch lock after parking a boat on its trailer.
- Install a kill switch in the ignition system.