Boat motors stolen from marinas in St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published December 10, 2019

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores police are investigating the thefts of several outdrive motors from boats stored in local marinas.

Detective Lt. James Fraser said that they received the first report from the area Nov. 19, when a 49-year-old man reported that someone took the motor from his boat sometime between Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 while it was parked near Brownie’s on the Lake, 24214 Jefferson Ave.

On Nov. 30, a 28-year-old man came into the Police Department to report that the outdrive motor on his boat was stolen while it was in storage at Island Harbor Marina, 24102 Jefferson Ave.

The man said that he received a call from the marina’s owner notifying him that his was one of three boats that had their outdrives taken Nov. 27. The man said that he checked his boat and the shrink wrap was not disturbed, and the motor was the only thing missing from the boat.

Fraser said that reports of the motor thefts have been blown out of proportion, however.

“We’ve only gotten about three reports,” he said Dec. 5. “Every year, as soon as they’re in storage ... it’s common.”

Island Harbor Marina co-owner Kelvin Salis said that they try to take precautions to protect the boats that are stored for the winter.

“You can’t secure the yard totally because the owners of the boats need to be able to get in. There are cameras, but once the yard is full, the (boats) block a lot of the view,” he said.

Salis said that boat owners could secure the motors with “hub locks” that are used with cars and act as a deterrent, but otherwise there isn’t much that can be done. He said it isn’t just a problem at his marina, however, and that “whoever’s stealing them is stealing one specific drive — (the) Mercruiser Bravo One Drive.”

Salis said they have asked law enforcement to increase patrols, but Island Harbor Marina hasn’t experienced problems like this for decades.

“There was a rash of outdrives being stolen years ago, and we haven’t had anything like this in probably 20 years,” he said.