Crime tip of June: protecting water equipment

Last year, the Mercer Island Police Department saw an increase in the thefts of paddle boards, kayaks, and other recreational aquatic equipment. Many of these thefts came from suspects accessing the victim’s homes/property via watercraft after observing their unsecured property lying around their waterfront backyards.

Here are some tips to help deter you from becoming a victim of these thefts and also help you increase the chance of recovering your property if you become a victim:

• Lock up all of your equipment/property. If your equipment/property isn’t directly visible to a suspect boater passing by, then the chances of them passing by your house without incident increases.

• Make a record of the brand, model number, and serial number of all of your equipment. That way if you do become a victim of theft, the chances of the police recovering your stolen equipment increases as these items are often resold or pawned.

• Always lock and secure your boats and personal watercrafts. Never leave the keys to your boats/PWC inside them.

• Install motion detector lights on the front and waterfront areas of your property. Suspects/thieves don’t like to be seen and will generally move on to a residence where they can commit a crime without being seen.

• Be a good neighbor and watch each other’s property. If you see something suspicious, immediately call 911.

These are just a few things you can do to increase your chances of not becoming a victim of theft.

The Mercer Island Police Department has put together a crime prevention booklet to help citizens keep themselves safe from many other types of crimes as well. This crime prevention booklet can be found online at

Officer Rob Jira is a member of the Mercer Island Police Department.


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