PALMETTO BAY (CBS4) - A Palmetto Bay couple hopes that new surveillance tape that they've released to CBS4 news will lead to the criminals who they say "violated us by stealing our prized boat from our home in broad daylight."
The couple told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that they were so worried about the criminals that they did not want to reveal their own identities but they want CBS4 viewers to take a look at the suspects' faces, in the hope that someone will recognize them and call Miami-Dade Police.
"Just the fact that we are coming to you should be testament that we want these people caught," said one of the owners of the Mako, a 28-foot, Open Fisherman. "It was very scary. It was the middle of the day. They come over in the middle of the day and get away with something like this."
"It's extremely upsetting," she said. "Not just because it's our property, but this is what we do. It is our hobby. It's what we do with our children. To have this happen around the holiday. It hurts. It's terrible."
The surveillance cameras at the owners home captured a grey, F-150 pickup truck with a white bottom backing up on to the owners' property at around 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, December 1st.
The criminals use bolt cutters to break through a chain link fence and cut the locks on the owners' boat trailer. In less than ten minutes they take the Open Fisherman and are seen by neighbors in Palmetto Bay driving around with the boat. An SUV is with them and may contain accomplices.
Neighbor Siegfried Pinkau told D'Oench that he saw the F150 driving by his home.
"I heard a big bang and I saw a pickup truck pulling the boat," said Pinkau. "It had some sort of radar device on it and it hit a tree. He was going at a high rate of speed. The boat was covered. I thought that must have been my neighbor's boat. I think this is terrible. It's terrible that you can't have a boat without it being taken and stripped of all of its valuables."
On Wednesday afternoon, hours after the boat was stolen, it was discovered at S.W. 304th St and 147th Ave., stripped of all of its motors, electronic items and even cushions.
The boat owners were insured but insurance may not cover everything that they lost.
"They violated us by stealing our prized boat from our home in broad daylight," said the male boat owner.
"Yeah it was pretty scary that people come over to our neighborhood and our home and take what they want. We really enjoy being out in the water with our kids. This is what we do on our weekends.
"I think it would mean a lot to us to see these criminals caught," he added. "These boat thefts are getting out of hand."
It could not be immediately determined if boat thefts are on the rise in Miami-Dade or not as no recent statistics were available.
"It mean a lot to me if these criminals were caught," Pinkau told D'Oench. "I know there are a lot of boaters around here in Palmetto Bay and everywhere else and they are probably worried about such criminals."
The boat owners say they were told by Miami-Dade Police that they spent a few hours combing the recovered boat for fingerprints of the suspects and they were told that Police did have a lead in this case.
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