Police warn boat owners to be vigilant
POLICE have issued a warning to River Exe boat owners after a series of marine-related thefts amounting to well over £20,000.
On or around Tuesday, August 28, there were four thefts in the Lympstone area.
Two boats were untied from their moorings and both had items stolen from them before the thieves left the boats to drift. PC Adam Johnson from Exmouth CID said: "Not only does the value of all the items stolen that night come to £20,000, substantial damage was caused to the boats and a number of car doors.
"By letting the boats drift there was the potential for an even greater amount of damage and risk to life of any other users of the estuary."
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Members of the public are being urged to come forward with any information that may assist officers in their investigation.
In addition, people are asked to be aware of the items that were stolen including: a 40-horse power Suzuki four-stroke Leanburn motor with the serial number 04003F210091; a mercury four-horsepower sailpower auxiliary motor with the serial number OP335555; and a Tohatsu five-horsepower outboard motor with security lock – serial no 026900xk; Tohatsu 3.5 horsepower outboard engine – serial number 075393XH.
In addition, two cars were broken into in the public car park in Lympstone – entry was gained by drilling the locks.
A sub woofer and an amp were stolen from a blue Peugeot 206 and a Garmin Nuvi sat nav, Sony bluetooth radio and CD player with hands-free kit and various CDs were stolen from a red Peugeot 206.
PC Johnson continued: "It is believed that the offenders used a vehicle in the incident, due to the weight of the items stolen.
"We would like to hear from anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously that night or the early hours of the morning in or around the Strand in Lympstone.
"These incidents occurred a few days after two similar thefts from boats in the Topsham area."
Between 9pm on Friday, August 24, and 7.15am on Saturday, August 25, a boat with a Yamaha 60-horsepower outboard engine with the serial number 6C5L1050400 had its lines cut and, once towed to the bank, was stripped of its contents including two fishing rods.
On the same night, at around the same time, another boat was boarded and a Yamaha S40B outboard motor model F40BET2 with the serial number 67C1045003 was stolen.
The boat was also left to drift into the estuary.
Anyone who has any information about the above incidents – including any suspicious behaviour in the areas of the thefts, or comes across any items matching the description of those listed as stolen – should contact police on 101, quoting crime reference number, KE/12/2120.
At the same time, boat owners are being encouraged to sign-up to the Boat Watch initiative – a community scheme that operates in the same way as Neighbourhood Watch – which is supported by a number of partner agencies including the police.
The aims of the scheme include increasing the prevention and detection of marine-related crime.
Members benefit from access to the police community messaging system, access to the police neighbourhood beat manager and Boat Watch co-ordinator and regular marine crime information.
Each Boat Watch area has its own dedicated community co-ordinator who is linked with a police neighbourhood beat manager.
PCSO Sarah Trayhurn helped set up Boat Watch in Lympstone and Topsham areas and anyone wanting to find out more can contact her via the Devon and Cornwall Police switchboard by phoning 101.