SALISBURY – Local police are seeking the public’s help in identifying two men believed to have broken into seven boats April 18, and stealing GPS mapping screens from each.
The Garmin GPS screens are valued between $1,900 and $5,700 each and were cut from the boat’s operator consoles, according to Salisbury police. The boats were covered in plastic shrink wrap while being housed for the winter at a Route 110 storage and sales business.
Investigators have recovered evidence from the scene that will be sent to the Massachusetts State Police Forensics Laboratory for analysis.
Video footage of the break-ins shows two heavily clothed men entering the boatyard about 2 a.m. and carrying what appears to be a bag of power tools to help them quickly remove the GPS screens from the boat consoles. The men are seen leaving the boatyard carrying a large bag with the stolen units inside.
Salisbury police Detective Keith Forget said police are investigating where the GPS units could be repurposed or resold.
Asked if his department had ever responded to a burglary of this nature, Forget said smaller boats have been robbed of their mapping units.
“But nothing like this,” Forget said.
Days later, a similar string of break-ins took place at Bosun’s Marine on Route 1 in Peabody. This time, 10 marine radar systems worth more than $50,000 were stolen, according to Peabody police.
The thefts were discovered about 8 a.m. on Saturday.
In all, two dozen boats, some of them shrink-wrapped for storage, were entered, said Peabody police Capt. Dennis Bonaiuto. Marine radar units were taken from at least 10 boats.
Forget said the two police departments have been in contact to determine whether the thefts are related.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Forget at 978-465-3121.
Salem News reporter Julie Manganis contributed to this story
Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.