LYNNWOOD, Wash. - Many residents are being targeted by burglars who have been stealing their outboard motors from driveways.
According to police, more than 18 motors have been stolen in the last few months in areas of Anacortes, Oak Harbor, Camano Island, Everett and Mountlake Terrace.
Now, boat owners are taking their motors off their boats and putting them in storage.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Lee Stoll spoke with a man who went online to find his stolen motor.
“Sitting right on the street, it takes the right guy to steal it,” said victim Scott McKenzie. “He’s already got the motor off, sitting next to the garbage cans. Now he’s carrying it out to his car.”
McKenzie took a look at his surveillance video after noticing his outboard boat motor was missing in March. The burglar spent nearly four hours cutting the locks and fuel lines, causing hundreds of dollars in damage.
Four days after seeing the video, McKenzie went online and found the same kind of motor on Craigslist.
McKenzie went to the seller’s Mill Creek House, and is convinced the motor wasn’t identical.
It was his, but the serial numbers were scratched off. McKenzie then called police.
"There have been numerous outboard thefts and other agencies are investigating those," said Ken Seuberlich of the Bothell Police Department.
According to Bothell police, the Mill Creek Seller bought several motors from 43-year-old Bret Follett.
Follett admitted to stealing five motors around Bothell in less than a month, each is worth $2,000 to $3,000.
With the boating season ending soon, police are worried more motors will be placed outside.
“I really recommend taking them off and putting them in a garage or secure location,” Seuberlich said.
Line Marilley and her husband told KIRO 7 that they started storing their motor in a lock shed after police recovered it from Follett’s house when it was stolen in the spring.
“Well yeah, it’s frightening,” Marilley said. “We didn’t hear a thing. So he’s good, which is too bad.”
According to police, Mill Creek seller did nothing wrong.
Police said Follett admitted to stealing motors in Brier and Mountlake Terrace.
Mountlake Terrace police said Follett is a suspect in one case they are working on.