Boat Thefts in the U.S. -- 2012

NICB Reports 3 Percent Decline from 2011

DES PLAINES, Ill., Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released its latest report on boat theft and recoveries in the United States. The report examines watercraft* reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012. The report draws from data contained in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, there were 5,870 watercraft thefts reported during the period. That is a 3 percent decrease from the 6,070 thefts reported in 2011.

The top five states for thefts were identical in rank order to the previous report. Florida led with 1,408 thefts followed by, in descending order, California (605), Texas (403), Washington (214) and North Carolina (184). Hawaii and Wyoming each reported one theft while the District of Columbia had none.

Also repeating in identical order were the top-five boat types for theft. In first place was the "Jet Ski" category, which recorded 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 Corporation (355), Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing (226), Tracker Marine LP (211) and Alumacraft Boat Company (133). Tracker Marine is new to the list for 2012, replacing Bayliner Marine.

On average, there were 16 watercraft thefts per day, 112 per week, or 489 per month in 2012. But the most theft activity occurs, as 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).

View and download the complete report and watch a video on boat thefts.

Boating season is well under way, and boat owners are reminded to practice safe and smart boating. That includes personal safety while on the water, as well as theft prevention. 

NICB recommends the following tips to help protect your watercraft from theft:

  • When you dock it, lock it and secure it to the dock with a steel cable
  • Remove expensive equipment when not in use
  • Chain and lock detachable motors to the boat
  • Do not leave title or registration papers in the craft
  • Disable the craft by shutting fuel lines or removing batteries
  • Use a trailer hitch lock after parking a boat on its trailer
  • Install a kill switch in the ignition system

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword "fraud" to TIP411 (847411) or submitting a form on our website. Or, download the NICB Fraud Tips app on your iPhone or Android device.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote $350 billion in insurance premiums in 2012, or more than 78 percent of the nation's property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 93 percent ($160 billion) of the nation's personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.

*watercraft types as described in the NCIC code manual:

Airboat: not defined

Commercial:  ferry, oyster boat, motor barge, towboat, tug, clam dredge, coaster, riverboat,      smack boat, etc.

Cruiser:  a boat with an inboard motor that is at least 25 feet long, but no longer than 50 feet

Houseboat:  not defined

Hovercraft:  not defined

Hydrofoil:  not defined

Hydroplane:  not defined

Jet-Ski:  aqua bike

Runabout:  launch, motorboat, outrider, speedboat, etc.

Sailboat:  cat, catamaran, cutter, bark, ketch, lateen, lugger, pinnace, schooner, sloop, yawl, etc.

Utility:  fisherman, sedan, etc.

Yacht:  a boat with an inboard motor that is more than 50 feet in length and is used mainly for pleasure or recreation

All other:  canoe, dinghy, dory, johnboat, kayak, lifeboat, paddleboat, rowboat, skull, skiff, etc.

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SOURCE National Insurance Crime Bureau



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