Brazen thieves hit boats |

Brazen thieves hit boats

More than 20 boats were burglarized within a week at two South Shore marinas.

The thieves are stealing electronic equipment, such as a stereo worth $6,000, as well as boat lights and fishing gear.

Burglars hit Fallen Leaf Lake Marina the night of June 5. Although homes were just 200 feet away, motorboats were rifled through without detection by residents.

“These were open boats that had their covers pulled back,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Bob Johnston. “Most didn’t have anything taken, but several were missing tools and electronic equipment.”

Thieves also broke into a building near the dock and took $40 in cash.

Less than a week later, on Monday night, someone climbed aboard six boats in dry dock at Tahoe Keys Marina. The owners of a 43-foot Bayliner, a sailboat and four motorboats found their cabins pried open, and deadbolts and padlocks rendered useless.

From one boat, burglars made off with $1000 in fishing gear. From another, they took a VCR, a marine radio and GPS system worth $850.

The marina has closed circuit surveillance cameras, but the video has not produced any leads yet, said Steve Buttling, Tahoe Keys Marina operations manager.

“If you know anything about boats, they are fairly easy to break into,” he said. “If someone wants to get into a boat or a house, they are going to get in. Locks just keep honest people honest. These guys used a bolt cutter on the padlock. Your average guys don’t walk around with bolt cutters.”

Sheriff’s investigators spent an entire day dusting for fingerprints at Fallen Leaf Lake. The boats at Tahoe Keys Marina were inspected by South Lake Tahoe Police.

“We don’t have any evidence linking the burglaries,” said police Detective Michael Dente. “It’s possible it’s the same group of guys working these marinas for different types of equipment … but we haven’t obtained any strong evidence.”

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