Polk County deputies are searching for boat thieves

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Within three months, nearly twenty boats or its motors were stolen in Polk County.

Polk County Sheriff detectives are searching for two thieves targeting smaller boats that are easy to hitch up to their vehicle and haul away.

In many of the cases, the stolen boats were parked in someone's yard. On the agency's Facebook page they write, “Even though some of the trailers had locks on the hitches, the suspects were able to break the locks, hook the trailers up to their vehicles, and drive off with the boats. In some cases, motors were stolen off the boats, with the boats later abandoned.”

New surveillance video shows a suspect driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee before and after they stole a boat from Breeze Way on July 25.

There are also surveillance pictures, released by Lake Hamilton Police Department, that show a similar vehicle involved in a trailer theft on July 27.

Deputies advise residents to lock their boats in a professional facility. If you're going to store it at home, park it in the backyard where it's harder for thieves to see or steal.

Also, park the front of the boat up against something solid like a fence to make it more difficult for them to hitch the boat. And lock your boat with a strong, quality lock.

There is a cash reward for information leading an arrest. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 863-298-6200, or the Southeast District at 863-678-4115.