Prop problem in Barrington: Thieves targeting boat parts

A boat is lowered into the water at Cove Haven Marina. Recently, duo props were stolen off a boat at the marina. A boat is lowered into the water at Cove Haven Marina. Recently, duo props were stolen off a boat at the marina.

A boat is lowered into the water at Cove Haven Marina. Recently, duo props were stolen off a boat at the marina.

A boat is lowered into the water at Cove Haven Marina. Recently, duo props were stolen off a boat at the marina.

There’s a new challenge for Barrington boat owners this summer: Thieves. Since mid-June, thieves have four times ripped parts off of boats kept at local marinas. It appears the criminals have been targeting propellers, among other items.

On Friday, July 5, a man called Barrington police after someone reportedly stole the props off his boat, which is kept at Brewer Cove Haven Marina. The props were reportedly worth $1,000.

Michael Keyworth, vice president and general manager at Brewer Cove Haven Marina, said the thief appeared to know exactly what he wanted when he stole the duo props.

“This had to be done from the water. I suspect this (thief) had damaged his props and went around looking at other boats,” Mr. Keyworth said. “These were stainless steel duo props … there are two props on one shaft, with a specific rotation and pitch… He knew what he wanted.”

There was a similar incident in mid-June. A resident who keeps his boat at a Bullock’s Cove marina told police someone stole the prop off his boat while the vessel was tied up to a dock. That prop was worth $400. Police said the thief needed to be in a boat in order to access the prop.

An employee at another boat yard in town said props are fairly expensive.

“A prop can run you $1,000. The smaller props are $300 or $400… they’re fairly easy to remove,” he said.

On Thursday, July 11, a boat owner called police after someone tried to remove the outboard engine from his boat, while the vessel was in the water. The thief must have been spooked half-way through the heist, however, because he stopped before taking the engine. The owner found the engine cables cut and some of the bolts backed out. The engine was valued at $2,800. It was not clear how much the cut cables would cost to replace.

In late June, a Riverview Drive resident who keeps his boat on his private dock said someone got onto his boat and stole a two-way radio from it. The radio was worth about $170.

Most boatyards in town have video surveillance and motion-sensored lights, but are reportedly more susceptible to thieves working from the water.

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