The unreported frequency of boat thefts in the Turks and Caicos Islands has reached a head on Thursday, when a frustrated Arthur Forbes, former President of the TCI Labour Tribunal turned up at the Caicos Marina and Shipyard adjacent to the Marine Police Station to find his well-secured boat stolen.
The vessel in question is a 27-foot white and blue Kape Horn boat with twin Yamaha outboard engines.
The security information from the shipyard stated that the incident took place at 5:52 a.m.
Forbes told NewslineTCI that the boat was moored adjacent to the Marine Police Station, where the police patrol boat is moored also. Forbes said he checked on the vessel every day, with Wednesday just before 12-noon being the last time he saw it.
“I last checked it at 11. am. yesterday (Wednesday). I checked on that boat every day, and it (shipyard) is supposed to be the safest place for boats in the TCI, because in order to get a boat out of the shipyard, you have to pass the police station, and you have to pass the patrol boat, if it is there,” he lamented.
Forbes believes that as he understood it, had it not been for the cavalier attitude of the police the boat theft could have been prevented.
“I am frustrated, because the mere fact that, according to the security officer on duty at the time, at about 5:52a.m. saw a light in the distant and heard a grinding noise, as if someone was cutting something.
“My boat was locked, and you have to use a grinder to cut the lock off, because I have one of those docking locks and they are hard to cut,” he further noted.
He noted further: “He (security officer) went to the Marine Police Station’s office door at the marina and reported that there was an unusual activity was taking place at a section of the dock. He described the activity as a glowing light in the distant and the sound of a grinding noise.
"The police officer dismissed the report, saying that he did not hear anything. Within minutes the security officer went back to the police station and showed him (officer) a boat leaving the shipyard.”
At post time, the police had not figured out the whereabouts of the stolen vessel.
NewslineTCI understands that boat-stealing in the general Leeward area has been a regular occurrence. A boater in the area told us that approximately 10 boats were stolen last year, and so far, this year, close to eight boats were reported stolen.
“My boat was among those that were stolen last year, it was stolen from North Caicos, and now they have stolen it again,” Forbes stated.
The police said at the time that the boat was intercepted about one mile from the Caicos Marina and Shipyard, with three Haitian Nationals on board.
It is understood that boats belonging to water sports operators were among those that were stolen. It is understood that some of the boats were recovered, and some never were.