Roane County boaters concerned with increase in theft

Roane County boaters concerned with increase in theft

6 News Reporter

ROANE COUNTY (WATE) - Boaters are concerned after an increase in theft on the water in Roane County. They're telling authorities thieves are stealing anything from paddleboats to furniture on their docks.

The Roane County Sheriff's Office even posting the complaints on Facebook. 
Neighbors in the affected areas tell 6 News they just want the stealing to end. 

"Things just suddenly come up missing," said Randy Martens of Kingston.

Martens lives on the Tennessee River in Kingston. Just this week he had some of his furniture on his dock stolen. 

"We hear about thefts all the time. Personally they've hit me three times in as many years," said Martens.  

Since he moved to the area more than a decade ago, people have taken hundreds of dollars worth of property like fishing rods, a tackle box, and a bench most recently. He's now taking extra precautions. 

Martens isn't the only one with concerns. Over the weekend in another part of Roane County, Mary Lou King's yellow paddle boat worth around $1,000 was taken.

Authorities and her neighbor safely returned it Tuesday, but she's afraid the problem isn't solved yet. 

"Now, you worry, you know, and if they're not caught and their parents don't do something, is it going to continue?," said King of Roane County. 

Roane County Sheriff's deputies say the recent crimes go along with what they see during this time of the year. 

"People are out prowling around and it just seems like the thefts kind of pick up during the warm months of the year," said Chief Deputy Tim Phillips. 

People in the affected areas aren't sure why their neighborhoods are being targeted, but they do have a guess. 

"I think it's just a source of quick cash that they can sell it some place," said Martens. 

Along with more thefts happening in the summer months, the Roane County Sheriff's Office also tells 6 News there are typically more arrests. Deputies say the best way to avoid becoming a victim of theft is to hide your valuables and make sure your boat is locked up.
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