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Boat Theft Report Suggests Downward Trend

Released this morning by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a report on vessel thefts in 2014—the most recent complete numbers available—indicates that boat theft is declining. The organization’s annual report examined vessel theft and recoveries in the United States, and examines vessels reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. The report is based on data from the National Crime Information Center database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


In 2014, Florida continued to lead the nation in boat thefts. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

Overall, there were 5,181 vessel thefts reported during 2014, a six-percent decrease from 2013 when 5,537 thefts were recorded. According to the report, 2014 was second year in a row in which boat thefts dropped six percent. In 2012, the there were 5,870 vessel thefts.

In 2014, Florida led nation in boats thefts with 1,290. Running a distant second was California with 507 thefts, followed by Texas with 386 thefts. Of those three states, California boasted the highest recovery rate (52 percent) followed by Texas (40 percent) and Florida (36 percent).

The report included the top five of boats stolen in 2014—high-performance powerboats did not make the top-five list. They were:

•Personal watercraft (1,121 thefts)
•Runabout (755 thefts)
•Utility (325 thefts)
•Cruiser (186 thefts)
•Sailboat (49 thefts)

Of those vessel types, personal watercraft experienced the lowest recovery rate of 39 percent, whereas sailboats boasted the highest recovery rate of 53 percent.