MARCO ISLAND — The Marco Island Police Department was contacted regarding highly suspicious boat activity within city canals and waterways this past weekend. Vessels were observed by alert citizens between 2 and 5 a.m.
"However, the citizen did not alert the department while the vessels were still in the area," reported City Public Information Coordinator Lisa Douglass in a prepared release issued Monday night.
"The vessels were described as white or light colored, center-console-type watercraft often called 'Go-Fasts,'" police reported in the release.
The operators of the suspicious vessels turned off their navigational lights and motors to avoid attention, per information in the reports.
"The vessels were not engaged in fishing and were being operated in a suspicious manner given their actions, time and location," Douglass wrote in the release.
The Marco Island Police Department has alerted their local, county, state and federal maritime law enforcement partners to the activity, officials said.
"This type of activity has been commonly associated with vessel thefts and smuggling operations," said Douglass.
The Marco Island Police Department suggests the following actions to protect your property from criminal activity:
"If you observe or hear something strange in the city's waterways call 911, regardless of the time – immediately!"
* Work with your neighbor to watch each other's homes, docks, and vessels.
* Use motion sensitive lighting that faces the canal or water behind your home.
* If your boat is not going to be in use for an extended period of time, remove engine or fuel system components.
* Install covert fuel cut-off or ignition / battery switches.
* Move the boat lift’s electrical power shut-off inside your house or garage.
* Secure your boat to the lift and the lift to the dock with heavy chain.
* Install an alarm system on your dock.
* Install a GPS enable alarm system on your boat.
* Always remove the keys from your boat when it is on the lift.
* Remove all valuables to include GPS, radar, and radios when the boat is not in use.
"While one of the safest cities in Florida, Marco Island is not immune from crime, including boat thefts and larceny from vessels," Douglass said.
The Marco Island Police Department requested help in making the community safe by taking steps to protect yourself and your neighbors. The Marco Island Police Department will conduct a residential and dockside security survey to assist you in analyzing and improving your security.
Please call 389-5050 to request a security survey. If you witness suspicious activity call 911 immediately.