Franklin Co. Authorities Investigating Marine Electronics Burglaries

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. - The search is on for at least three suspects stealing marine electronics from boat dealers in Franklin County and surrounding areas. Franklin County Sheriff's investigators say they're taking devices like navigation screens, and marine radios.

"The last ten days have been three different boat dealers who had electronics stolen from boats inside their complexes," said Franklin Co. Sheriff A.J. Smith.

Authorities say the stolen devices are worth a lot of money.

"Most of these boats have lower-end, radar, VHF, you know very expensive - all these electronics are very expensive you know in the thousands and thousands of dollars," said Smith.

Investigators believe the thieves are also unbolting lower units from boats.

General Manager of Wefing's Marine, Ron Copeland, says the suspects stole from at least ten boats, some that are his and some that belong to customers.

"High-end bottom machines, touch screen 12-inch - they targeted the more expensive items," said Copeland.

He says the suspects even stole from a boat owned by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"They weren't selective, they stole from everybody," said Copeland.

Authorities also believe the theft is linked to other burglaries in Wakulla, and Taylor Counties. Smith urges anyone with information to come forward. "Please call the Sheriff's Office in Franklin County, or Wakulla County, or Taylor County," said Smith.

Smith described the suspects as white males.The number to call in Franklin County is 850-670-8500. You could be eligible for a cash reward starting at $3,000.

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