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Thieves target pricey boats

By Staff | Jan 30, 2010

Two boats with a collective cost of nearly a million dollars were stolen in the Cape this week.
Realtor John Elwood had his 43-foot Nortec fishing boat stolen on Tuesday night from a friend’s home, where the boat was being stored.
Valued at more than $400,000, Elwood said he kept the boat at his friend’s house while the lift motor on his dock was being repaired.
He last saw the boat Tuesday night, and when he went to check on it Wednesday to bring it back to his river front home, the boat had vanished.
“I came home Wednesday to move the boat and looked at it was gone,” Elwood said.
Also sometime Tuesday night, a boat belonging to Cape resident Sherill Huff was stolen from behind his home.
According to a police report, Sherill C Huff reported that his 50-foot boat, a Sea Ray called “Splash”, was docked behind his Southwest 56th Terrace home on Tuesday night.
According to Huff, he last saw the boat at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. At roughly 9:30 the next morning, Huff reported that the boat was missing.
Huff told police that ropes used to secure the the vessel to pilings was laying on the dock, indicating that the boat did not come loose on its own.
Huff added that payments on the boat were up to date, and had not been repossessed.
Huff signed a sworn statement saying no one had permission to remove the boat, and that he would seek to press charges on anyone who might be involved. No prints were found at the scene.
Elwood said investigators informed him his boat could be used in illegal human and drug smuggling operations.
He added that countries like Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela don’t return stolen boats to the United States, as they don’t have the same arrangement that the Bahamas does with the U.S.
The boat was low on fuel, so Elwood is confidant someone must have seen the boat, because they would have had to stop to put gas in the tank.
Plus the boat was specially built, Elwood said, making it unmistakable.
“Maybe somebody saw something, it’s one of a kind,” he said. “You could spot it a mile away.”
Anyone with information should contact the Cape Coral Police Department at 574-0501.