Thieves targeting boat motors in Lake County

2 incidents of stolen boats turning up with motors removed

By Clay LePard - Reporter

CLERMONT, Fla. - Surveillance video shows a boat being stolen in a Lake County neighborhood Wednesday morning, only to turn up hours away with its motors missing. 

Murray Tucker wasn't surprised when he learned about it, because his family had their boat stolen from their barn about a month ago. 

"It was like I was punched in the stomach," he said. "We've had that boat for a long time. We've only had the engines a couple weeks, got to run the boat one time, and put six hours on them." 

His boat turned up about a quarter mile away from where it went messing, also with the motors removed. 

Experts said these boat motor thefts aren't just happening here in Central Florida; they're happening all over the state. 

Capt. Johnny Martinez owns a boat restoration business in Winter Garden, and has seen more and more of his customers coming in and dealing with this issue. 

"The magnitude of this epidemic, it's out of control," he said. "The engines stolen have been in the $6,000 range all the way up to $30,000 to $50,000 per engine."

Martinez now suggests to his customers that they invest in GPA tracking in all important equipment, as well as cameras. 

Several Facebook groups have also been formed to spread the word about stolen boats and motors, in an effort to raise awareness: 

- Florida Stolen Boats, Motors, Trailers & Electronics 
- South Florida Marina & Boat Watch Group 
- Stolen Boats Motors Florida 

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