Following a “significant surge” in dinghy thefts throughout the territory, police are urging residents to take precautions.

“These incidents, occurring most frequently between 7 and 10 p.m., seriously threaten our boating community,” police warned in a press release issued last Thursday. “To combat this alarming trend, the [police force] strongly advises all boat owners and charter companies to bolster the security measures for their dinghies.”

To that end, police are recommending several steps:

• marking dinghies with a “unique and inconspicuous” identification mark and recording the mark with detailed photographs;
• removing the key from dinghies when they are not in use;
• installing tracking devices on dinghies;
• photographing dinghies from various angles, including their engine;
• promptly reporting missing dinghies to police; and
• keeping a record of the dinghy’s hull identification number in a secure and accessible location.

Anyone with information about dinghy thefts is urged to report it by calling the anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-8477; by calling the police access number 311; or by calling the police Marine Unit directly at 368-9349.