Industry Forum: Marine Thefts & Break-ins


Thefts of boats, engines, electronics and parts has reached epidemic proportions on the west coast of Florida. It seems every week we receive new reports of members suffering a break-in or loss.

In Lee County, partially due to the efforts of SWFMIA, the Sheriff has appointed a full-time detective to investigate marine related crimes. To our knowledge, Lee is the first Florida county to take this action. Thank you Sheriff Scott! We hope others will soon follow suit.

We recently met with Detective Tim Galloway, and Lt. Chris Nyce, the head of Lee County’s Marine Unit, to kick around ideas. They are anxious to work more closely with the marine industry. We must continue to improve communications within our member businesses and with Law Enforcement on a local and regional level. We must help each other by sharing information. What are marinas and retailers doing to protect their businesses? What can SWFMIA do to be a better conduit of information? What is Law Enforcement doing to address the problem and what can we do to help them? What can manufacturers do to strengthen security measures at their level?

Our first step is to bring Law Enforcement and the Industry together to discuss the problem and establish better working relationships with each other. That will happen on Wednesday, March 15th at the Venice Community Center (it’s about in the middle of our membership base between Collier County and the Tampa Bay area). 

We expect strong region-wide representation from local, county and state law enforcement. Every marina, dealer and retailer in the marine industry must be there as well. We also want to encourage boat, engine, and electronics manufacturers to attend and need the help of our members to spread the word. Please contact and invite your representatives and stress what a unique opportunity for dialogue this will be. We are already reaching out to Law Enforcement Agencies but please feel free to pass the word to any personal contacts you may have as well.

We are working on an agenda and welcome any suggestions. SWFMIA is hosting the event and will provide lunch for all attendees. Space is somewhat limited and RSVP’s are required. E-mail with company name and names of attendees. 

INDUSTRY FORUM Wednesday, March 15th
VENICE COMMUNITY CENTER – 326 South Nokomis Avenue, Venice, FL 34285