A. Lee Graham
Only two states surpass Texas when it comes to boat theft.
According to a newly released report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Texas had 403 reported boat thefts in 2012, outdone only by Florida, at 1,408, and California, at 605.
The report examines watercraft reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012. The annual report draws from data contained in the National Crime Information Center database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
While there were 5,870 watercraft thefts reported during the period, the number marks a 3-percent decline from the 6,070 thefts reported in 2011.
Trailing Florida, California and Texas as having the most reported thefts are Washington, at 214, and North Carolina, 184. Hawaii and Wyoming each reported only one theft, while the District of Columbia had none. Those states were listed in the same order as the previous year’s report.
Also repeating in identical order were the top-five boat types for theft. Placing first was the “Jet Ski” category, with 1,373 thefts. It was followed by, in descending order, runabout (937), utility (360), cruiser (251) and sailboat (42).
The top five manufacturers for watercraft thefts are: Yamaha (659), Bombardier Corp. (355), Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing (226), Tracker Marine LP (211) and Alumacraft Boat Co. (133). Tracker Marine is new to the list for 2012, replacing Bayliner Marine.
On average, about 16 watercraft thefts occurred per day, 112 per week, or 489 per month in 2012. But the most theft activity occurs, as analysts expected, during the spring and summer months. July saw the highest number of reported thefts (739) and February had the fewest (273). Most thefts were reported on Fridays (932) with the fewest being reported on Thursdays (764).
The National Insurance Crime Bureau, based in Des Plaines, Ill., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. More information is available at www.nicb.org.