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Florida Marina and Boat Storage Facilities Subjected to Electronic Thefts

The owner of a South Florida marina and boat storage facility in Boca Raton is trying to battle an increase in boat electronic thefts.

“It’s become a serious issue, especially here in South Florida,” Marshall Sklar said.

Sklar, who owns Mizner Marina in Deerfield Beach, said there’s been an increase in electronic thefts at both his marina and his boat storage facility in Boca Raton, where a handful of boats were targeted, with two successful thefts.

“So, in the latest rash of thefts, they’re only after one thing, and it’s one particular brand,” Sklar said. “It’s a brand called Garmin, and it’s a very specific Garmin electronics fish finder.”

Because of this, Sklar has made some big changes at storage facilities. All customers will now have an RFID chip to get through the gate, as opposed to the coded system they had before.

“We’ve also used a system called For Warn,” Sklar said. “For Warn allows us to screen every single person’s name and or phone number.”

They’ve also got 12 brand-new surveillance cameras.

“Pretty much all the businesses, we’ve been increasing cameras and security, especially using the new technologies with AI, trying to let the owners know before something like that happens,” Jason Gelfand, owner of Complete Integrated Technologies, said.

Gelfand said this new technology is changing the game in the world of security.

“For instance, instead of using the old-style laser beams to detect people, we can do it virtually now and draw lines into the camera view,” Gelfand said. “The cameras are smart enough to detect whether it’s humans or people.”

For individual boat owners, Boca Raton police recommend installing a camera on your boat, covering your boat to hide valuables and keeping an inventory of all boat electronics with the serial numbers.

On top of that, Sklar has one more tip.

“I know on my boat, I have electronics that they screw onto a mount, two simple screws, and they even have what’s called a quick disconnect,” Sklar said. “So, in less than 30 seconds, I can take my electronics, put them in a bag, take them off the boat and put them back every time I go out fishing.”

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