Florida association warns dealers of thefts

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The burglary of about $200,000 in motors and parts from Travis Boating Center’s Fort Myers warehouse on Monday is the most recent in a string of robberies of area marine dealers, the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association reported in a recent alert.

Over the past year and a half, just under $1 million in inventory has been stolen, according to SFWMIA.

The association warned “members and friends” to review their security systems and procedures to avoid being targeted by what appear to be a group of professional burglars. In addition, it asked that dealers keep SFWMIA informed of any attempted robberies to help in its efforts to work with local police.

During Monday’s burglary, thieves disabled Travis Boating Center’s security system, then used the dealer’s own forklifts to move boats out of the way and load up large engines, according to an article Wednesday by the News-Press.

Travis Boating Center General Manager Lance Lane – and dealers from Marine Mike’s and Naples Boat Mart, which experienced similar burglaries – suggested the thieves knew what they were doing.

“These are professionals who come in from the other coast,” Mike Murphy of Marina Mike’s told the newspaper. “If you interrupt them, somebody’s going to get hurt.”

In April, his San Carlos Park store was robbed of about $300,000 in inventory, the newspaper reported.

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