Nothing spoils one’s boating fun like having a boat, trailer, or electronics stolen. You’ve invested a lot into acquiring these assets. Consider investing a little more into keeping them.
Aluminum boat and jet ski trailers rank among the top security problems in our neighborhood. Many have gone missing and we know of none that have been recovered. They are easy to transport and are sometimes quickly turned into scrap metal. Consider storing your boat trailer at an offsite, secure facility.
Add additional security measures using chains through wheel wells and a quality padlock on the trailer tongue. (Quality padlocks have double-locking shackles at the toe and heel, a hardened steel shackle (the larger the diameter the better), a five pin tumbler, and a key-retaining feature that prevents removal of the key when unlocked.)
Stolen canoes and kayaks also seem to rank among the top five concerns. Secure them with appropriate chains and heavy duty locks.
Remove valuable items from your boat, purchase a custom-made cover for your boat to help secure valuables, or both. (The cover has the secondary benefit of protecting cushions and equipment from sun- and other weather-related damage.)
Consider adding an alarm sensor on your lift control box.
Record serial numbers of all after-market components added to your boat (e.g., after-market stereo components and depth finder). Law enforcement has access to a nationwide online database that pawn shops use to enter serial numbers for all incoming merchandise. If a match is found, you significantly increase the odds of catching the thief and having your items returned. (Even if no match is found, this list may still come in handy with your insurance company.)
Vehicle Identification Numbers are commonly missing from recovered trailers, often leaving HCSO unable to identify their rightful owners. The T.I.P. program assigns a unique number to your trailer and records this information along with photographs in the HCSO database. This information is then available to HCSO deputies in the event your trailer is stolen. Read more about the program or contact our local district office at 813-247-0600 to schedule an appointment.
Sources: “Crime Prevention Starts with You” presented by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Police Department at the Hillsborough County Neighborhood Conference (May 2015); Interviews with Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Officers