The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) wants to warn area residents that thieves are targeting fishing gear on boats, in backyards, even in cars.
The OCSO has taken thirteen reports of expensive fishing rods and reels being stolen off boats since May, and at least one report of rods and reels being taken from a car.
Most of the thefts have taken place in the Destin area; however, Santa Rosa and Walton County are experiencing similar crimes.
Investigators believe in many instances, the individuals may be approaching the boats from the water.
Owners should take precautions to secure their fishing equipment and report any suspicious activity immediately.
In addition, anyone with information on who may be responsible for the rash of raids on fishing gear and who wants to remain anonymous can contact Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850-863-TIPS, emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com, or by texting “TIP214” plus your message to “CRIMES” (274637).