Rash of boat break-ins under investigation at Marblehead marina

MARBLEHEAD, Mass. — Police and the Harbormaster in Marblehead are uniting to zero in on the elusive crook who’s been sneaking onto boats after nightfall.

Day after day, boat owners have returned to find fishing rods and other expensive items are no longer there.

The police chief said he believes the thief must be using a boat of his or her own to load up on stolen items then drifting away before anyone notices.

“They’ve kind of been selective about what they’re taking - Yeti coolers, expensive tuna rigs,” launch operator at Mid-Harbor Launch Kyle Aikman said.

But, Aikman said, the thief is getting bolder. That’s concerning for the trusting people who keep their boats moored in the area.

“I took them out and they looked at their boat and it was all gone, their first instinct was what happened,” Aikman said about one family who had been targeted.

Items have been stolen from at least nine boats in the past week.

“People tend to get a little relaxed about putting things away here simply because there never has been any issues,” Peter Nielsen said.

The unusual uptick in boat burglaries began earlier this month. Investigators say in some cases the thief has busted through locks to gain access.

“You work hard to have a nice boat and people come and just freeload off of it,” Bill McCarthy said.

But as these boat owners know all too well, nothing out on these water is anywhere close to being free, and now they’re watching closely for the person who seems to think otherwise.

“If I could stay out there tonight id watch like a hawk dog,” Nancy Titus said.

The police chief isn’t sure if the same person is responsible for all these thefts, but he told Boston 25 News reporter drew Karedes there’s an “active and ongoing investigation” underway.

He urges anyone who notices anything suspicious to call the Marblehead or Salem Harbormaster immediately or contact police directly.

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