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Report: Florida has more boats stolen than any other state

Florida by far had the most boat thefts in 2018. [National Insurance Crime Bureau]
Florida by far had the most boat thefts in 2018. [National Insurance Crime Bureau]
Published Jun. 5, 2019

When your state is surrounded by water and has thousands of lakes, it attracts lots of boaters. Boat thieves, too, it turns out.

A recently released report puts Florida as the state with the most watercraft thefts in the U.S. by far. The nonprofit National Insurance Crime Bureau says Florida reported a total of 1,114 watercraft thefts in 2018, with only 392 of those being recovered by authorities.

Compare that to the state with the second most thefts, California. It reported only 483, with more than half of the stolen watercraft recovered.

The report also ranked Tampa No. 3 on the list of cities nationwide with the most thefts, saying the area had 64 watercraft stolen last year, with just 18 being recovered by authorities. Miami's 203 thefts was the most in the country for one city, followed by Fort Lauderdale.

Also making the top ten cities nationwide was Largo, which had 35 stolen watercraft last year and a recovery rate of 29 percent — one of the lowest on the list.

Contact Josh Fiallo at jfiallo@tampabay.com. Follow @ByJoshFiallo.