Going, going… gone! Outboard motor theft is on the increase with thieves getting more brazen in their pursuit of the big cash rewards. To make matters worse for the boat owner, recovery rates of stolen boats and motors is dismal.
What favours the criminal is that outboard motors are relatively simple to steal as they are designed to be detachable. Another factor that promotes the theft of outboard motors is their high-ticket value and their ease of disposability.
Outboard motors stolen in South Africa will often make their way across the borders into neighbouring countries and this makes retrieval almost impossible.
Another factor that shows how determined thieves are is the sheer physical weight they have to contend with when stealing an outboard motor. The higher value outboard motors usually targeted by thieves can weigh in excess of 300kg and this indicates how undeterred they are by the sheer weight of these units and how determined they are to steal them.
In a recent robbery, a well organised gang broke into the Twin Boats showroom in Vereeniging and within minutes had stolen a boat and a Jetski, both with trailers. This shows just how brazen thieves are today.
Often the entire boat and trailer is stolen, transported quickly to its destination and stripped of its motors and other valuable parts.
Recently the SAPS uncovered a whole consignment of outboard motors destined for the overseas market.
In another incident that took place in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, thieves stole two large outboard motors from a fishing boat parked in a residential driveway. All that was left, when the owners woke up in the morning, was the boat on its trailer and a few nuts and bolts lying on the floor that had held the motors in place.