POLICE are urging boat owners to be vigilant and protect their vessels from thieves after a spate of break ins in Martham, Loddon and Brundall.

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Five boats were targeted in Martham on Monday night but it is believed many more have been attacked.

In most of the cases suspects have slashed the vessel’s canopy before stealing items from inside the cabins including electrical and marine equipment.

The incidents at Martham Dyke come after similar sprees at Langley Dyke near Loddon and Brundall since the beginning of the month. Nine outboard engines have also been stolen from Beccles over the Christmas period.

PC Paul Bassham, from Norfolk Constabulary’s Broads Beat team, said officers were following several lines of enquiry, including whether the incidents are all linked.

He said: “While the areas targeted can be access by land, we are exploring whether criminals are using a boat to commit these offences and with this in mind I would urge anyone who may have witnessed anything out of the ordinary on the waterways to come forward.”

Boat owners are now being urged to visit their vessels to make sure they are secured and to remove any valuables from inside.

PC Bassham added: “We would advise owners to make a note of the serial number of their engine and to remove it, replacing the cowling with one of our outboard engine covers, making them less attractive to thieves.”

The PVC covers come in three sizes priced between £15 and £25 and are available from Hoveton Police Station or by calling 101 and quoting Broads Beat or Project Kraken.

Anyone with information about any of the thefts should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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