DES PLAINES, Ill. -

A report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau states North Carolina is ranked 5 of all states for watercraft theft in 2012.

There were 5,870 watercraft thefts reported nationwide in 2012. Despite a 3% decrease nationally for thefts over 2011, North Carolina ranked 5th out of the 50 states with 184 watercraft reported stolen.

In descending order, the top 4 were Florida with 1,408 thefts, California (605), Texas (403), and Washington (214). Hawaii and Wyoming had the fewest thefts with one each.

NICB recommends the following tips to help protect your watercraft from theft:

  • When you dock it, lock it and secure it to the dock with a steel cable
  • Remove expensive equipment when not in use
  • Chain and lock detachable motors to the boat
  • Do not leave title or registration papers in the craft
  • Disable the craft by shutting fuel lines or removing batteries
  • Use a trailer hitch lock after parking a boat on its trailer
  • Install a kill switch in the ignition system

The report states most boat theft happens during the Spring and Summer months.