OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Oakland’s property crime problem is spilling onto the waterfront with burglars now targeting boats on the estuary.

In some instances, thieves will travel in small boats and pry open dock boxes in the middle of the night. According to marina residents, they have taken engines or sometimes small boats or dinghies. 

Craig Jacobsen, Outboard Motor Shop president, says he and many of the marina residents believe the people committing these crimes live in encampments along the estuary or on stolen boats.

“We know 100 percent who is doing it and where they are and all of that. We had one of them arrested last week with some of our stolen products. Two days later he’s back out on his boat again,” Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen says Oakland police have told him they can’t do much.

“They sent me an email back a little while ago saying they’re just so tied up with violent crime that all their officers are on violent crime and that they don’t have a lot of non-violent crime officers for property theft.”

Oakland PD released the following statement to KRON4: 

“There has been a recent spike in boat thefts. As these thefts have occurred on both sides of the estuary, the Oakland Police Department is collaborating with the Alameda PD to address this surge in crime.”

Alameda police say that the number of calls they receive from the marinas account for less than one percent of their total calls, but they know those on the marina feel vulnerable and they are doing what they can to help.

Jacobsen says he believes the thieves sell most of the stolen equipment and boats. Some of the people who live and work on the estuary are hoping for more patrolling by police to prevent these types of crime.