BETHEL ISLAND (CBS SF) – A string of boat thefts near Bethel Island over the past month has prompted the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office to increase patrols in the area.

In October, six boats were stolen on Dutch Slough Road, Sandmound Boulevard and Sandmound Slough, authorities said.

“They’re not taking them for the whole boat. They’re taking them for the equipment that’s on them, such as the outboard motors,” said Lt. Doug Powell with the the sheriff’s marine services unit.

Outboard engines can cost as much as $60,000. Powell said two of the stolen have been recovered, stripped of the outboard engines, which can be removed very quickly.

Other boats stolen, including a 20-foot Stratos fishing boat taken from the 5000 block of Sandmound Boulevard, have yet to be recovered, Powell said.

He advised boat owners to secure any valuable items inside the water craft, remove the outboard motor when it’s not being used, and record the serial numbers of both boats and equipment.

Powell said engraving identifying information such as a driver’s license number onto a boat or motor makes it easier for police to return the stolen property to its rightful owner.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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