By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
Boat thefts in the Bahamas dropped nearly 24 per cent year-over-year in 2016, according to police statistics, with the Association of Bahamas Marinas being credited for putting a “big dent” in the crime.
Sergeant Darren Robinson, of the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Marine Support Services, in a presentation to the Association of Bahamas Marinas yesterday said four vessels have been reported stolen so far this year.
Two thefts occurred in Freeport, one in Abaco and one in Exuma. Three of those vessels have been recovered.
Sergeant Robinson revealed that in 2016 some 74 vessels were reported stolen of which 35 - almost 50 per cent - were recovered. In 2015, there were 97 vessels reported stolen, and 48 recovered.
“There is a decline in boat theft. Because of the marina operators distributing timely information on stolen boats, incidents are on the decline,” said Sergeant Robinson.
He added that based on communication with Jamaican law enforcement authoritied, a large number of vessels from the Bahamas are currently in their compound, having been seized and confiscated as a result of alleged drug running activities.
“In 2015 we noticed a trend that a number of vessels we stopped, fishermen from Andros and other islands, said that persons from the US had asked them while out on the water if they wanted to trade boats,” said Sergeant Robinson.
“We later found out that persons claim off their insurance in the United States and then try and come to the Bahamas to retrieve the boat. That has been happening.”