POLICE are today warning boat owners in Suffolk to stay alert after a series of thefts in the county.

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Bosses at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club were left counting the cost yesterday after thieves stole £35,000 worth of outboard engines.

There have been similar thefts in the county in the past, including an incident in Aldeburgh in August, when a set of boat sails were stolen.

Suffolk police is now encouraging boat owners to take extra precautions to ensure they do not become victims of theft.

One method of protection is the Marine Watch scheme.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “Marine Watch does indeed exist and is used by our Police Direct system to send out specific targeted messages when we have crimes like this to alert boat owners and others signed up for this.

“We would urge boat owners to take steps to protect their property.

“Remove items if you can or store them securely and please be vigilant.

“If you notice any suspicious activity please call police immediately using 999.”

Other initiatives used in the past have included marked covers to replace outboard cowls, which had the details of the boat owner on it to deter thieves.

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