A GANG of military-trained Eastern Europeans has stolen millions of euros worth of outboard engines and marine equipment here and in Northern Ireland over the past three years.
The highly-expert squad, believed to be from the eastern Baltic states, has carried out night-time raids on marinas, suppliers and harbours across Ireland and have yet to be arrested.
The gang has reconnaissance, engineering and logistic skills which gardai believe came from military training. They even carried out overnight robberies during last December's big freeze.
They have carried out operations in which over €100,000 worth of outboard engines and equipment have been taken.
In two raids in Northern Ireland they took 40 outboards from yacht clubs in overnight raids in Co Down.
They are also stealing to order, marine sources say. Last year they took a gearbox from a 175hp outboard in Wexford but left the engine, even though the complete outboard was worth €20,000.
Two weeks ago, they were caught on CCTV as they arrived in two people carriers in the middle of the night at Bullock Harbour in south Dublin, swam out to boats and took away all the petrol containers they could find.
The marine petrol cans cost about €75 each and they left all the mainly low-powered outboard engines alone.
Marinas on the Shannon have been badly hit, with one supplier forced to close last year after having €100,000 worth of outboards and equipment stolen.
In Bullock Harbour last week, Western Marine chandlers were preparing to repair a rigid inflatable when they discovered it had an outboard engine, worth €10,000, previously stolen in Cavan.
In May, the gang used a rigid inflatable dinghy to steal five outboards from boats moored in Skerries. Five days earlier, three rigid inflatable boats and their engines were taken from a house in Greystones, Co Wicklow.
Last month they broke into the Alsaa sports complex near Dublin Airport and stole the Aer Lingus Aqua Club's large rigid inflatable along with a 150hp engine worth €50,000.
More than 1,500 outboard engines, ranging in cost from a few thousand to €20,000, have been recorded stolen in Northern Ireland.
It is not known how many have been stolen in the Republic -- though industry sources say it definitely runs into thousands.
Marine insurance sources say the losses in the Republic in the past three years have run to millions. The industry is having to hike its premiums and owners are hit as engines that have depreciated in value generally have to be replaced by new ones.
Bob Killen of Killen Marine in Dalkey, south Dublin, said he had "many customers" who had outboard engines stolen or knew of thefts.
"They have taken engines and the control box. They did not just cut the wires they were careful to have everything complete. They know what they are doing," he said.
- JIM CUSACK
Originally published in The Sunday Independent
Results 1 to 10 of 19
07-08-11, 23:13 #1
Military gang steals millions in boat partsregards David - DSW Marine Engineering
08-08-11, 12:29 #2
The obvious question then, why not in the rest of the UK?If I'd wanted to live in a Banana Republic I'd have gone to South America.
08-08-11, 12:37 #3
are they related to the similar goings on in the S or SW (i forget which) a few years back?
09-08-11, 12:22 #4
11-08-11, 13:14 #5
Outboard stolen at Millport.
Last sat eve between 1900-2215.
From a tender at the steps at Millport pier.
They lifted the transom up the steps, undone ob and must have made up the steps with it as they had blocked their passage back down the steps with the tender.
It is a balck Suzuki 2.5hp 4stk aprox 2yrs old and in very good condition.
We are following some lines of enquirey, regarding a certain boat which was tied next to the tenders, and will be checking cctv footage of that area.
15-08-11, 20:11 #6Registered User
Location : ESSEX ENGLAND
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
The east coast was done two years ago, probably are turn again next year.
16-08-11, 09:58 #7New User
- Join Date
- Aug 2011
Outboard theft is now happening in the UK too
It would seem that operations have now moved to the South Coast of the UK.
In June 2011 our outboard was stolen off the back of our yacht (where it was attached), outside the house in the yacht basin at Port Solent Marina.- Since then we know of two other yachts in the same basin who have had outboards stolen - so make sure yours is not vulnerable too - wherever your boat is moored. Don't make theft easy for the thieves
09-09-11, 11:00 #8New User
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
I have to agree - why just N.Ireland and not anywhere else in the UK? Guess if it is working for them then why change area. Times like this you wish we had more sharks on our coast...eat these guys up haha
27-05-12, 12:50 #9Registered User
Location : Bora Bora....I wish.
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Recently there were reports about outboards, fishing gear,etc..,being stolen and vehicles parked around the shore and once secluded inlets of the area of lough Cong,Ireland, being broken into and still no arrests. Legislation is currently too weak to deal with these parasites.
28-05-12, 09:55 #10
What's the best way to avoid a small O/B being stolen, aside from taking it home and putting it under your pillow?
I read not long ago that in circumstances where the O/B's were secured to pushpits/transoms with locks, thieves were simply cutting through the pushpit/transom causing considerable damage.Living the dream!