POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Residents in a Pompano Beach neighborhood are on heightened alert after several neighbors reported a rash of boat burglaries.
Vinny Muratore is one of those neighbors. He said he woke up to find his 32-foot Nauticstar XS tied up tight, with footprints left on the boat and the cooler and fridge left opened.
“You could tell there were marks on the back here where he stepped on,” Muratore said. “They tied it tight to the dock to get onboard.”
Another neighbor, who did not want to be identified, woke up to find the exact same thing happened to his 44-foot Sea Ray Sedan Bridge. He checked his cameras and found a man walking up, tying the boat tight and rummaging through it.
“You just feel a little violated,” that neighbor said. “You’ve got someone going around and it’s just before dawn, you could have almost caught him.”
The suspect walked off with a fishing rod and walked around with a backpack before moving on to the next backyard.
Residents living near South Federal Highway and Southeast 13th Street said all of this has been happening more often, with burglars going boat to boat, even doing so from the water.
“What they’ll do is they’ll come through the canal quietly, board the boat from the water and then try to take electronics and stuff and go away from the water,” Muratore said. “It seems that people are desperate and the thing is there is such a supply issue and they’re getting three times what they were getting a year ago.”
Witnesses said the suspect caught on camera had at least two other people working with him and said they were very selective about what to steal. Some residents said they fear the burglars were casing out the boats in order to steal them later.
Anyone with information is asked to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.