A major rash of thefts from boats in and around Nanaimo has people on alert.
Tens of thousands of dollars worth of property has been taken in recent days and thieves appear to be organized and targeting local marinas and boat owners repeatedly.
Stepping onto her boat used to be a stress release for Meg Landry, now it’s worrying.
“It just makes you feel sick to your stomach,” she says, wondering if it has been broken into yet again. “You think about it all the time.”
The Nanaimo woman has reason to worry. Her boat’s now been broken into four times, despite it being in a locked, barbed wire fenced compound. As thieves target the Harbour city with a rash of thefts from boats in recent days that’s left owners up and down the east coast of the Island on edge.
Twenty-one boats were hit at a fishing tournament 10 days ago, and since then reports of thefts have been coming in almost everyday. Landry says its as though plates have just sailed in and set up a theft ring here. Taking anything of value from fishing rods, to blankets, radars and down riggers.
“Also they’re targeting safety equipment such as your flare guns, life jackets and if you happen to not notice that those things are missing off your boat you could end up in some real trouble,” says Landry.
Surveillance video captured a suspect in a rash of thefts from boats Monday night, including Meg Landry’s. Coming in by water then slipping away with thousands of dollars worth of other people’s property.
‘These are all hard working people that have these boats down here,” says Brian Potentier of Sea Air Seaplanes, “and even showing the footage to the owners just seeing their response, seeing their boats being boarded by this strange fellow and taking all their equipment the they’ve worked hard for. ”
Nanaimo RCMP are investigating.
“We have constant contact with the pawn shops, we’re getting feedback from citizens,” says Cst. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP. “We’re doing what we can. We also need the boat owners to assist us reporting suspicious activity and locking up their goods. ”
Meg Landry is encouraging boaters to watch out for each other as well. Since thieves decision to target the aptly named Harbour City right now, could mean any number of them are next.