DPD investigating reports of more than twenty boats that were broken into over the winter. They say this is an annual problem, and of the recent break-ins, there did seem to be much stolen.
Dillingham Police are investigating reports of boats broken into at the PAF yard. Police were notified of some of the break-ins last January, but other skippers returning to town to fish are finding problems, too. In many instances, it appears the burglars were just looking for a place to stay.
AUDIO TRANSCRIPT: More than a dozen skippers who store their boats at the PAF Marine Services boatyard in Dillingham will find they are victims of some vandalism of their stored vessels.
Among them is Andrew Rosas, captain of the F/V Deborah R, who came back to Dillingham this month to get ready for the season.
“The window had been open for a few weeks—letting weather in and what not. The whole place was ransacked. Everything that could be gone through was gone through, and it was all thrown all over the floor and stomped on,” said Rosas.
Nothing was stolen from Rosas’s boat, but about twenty other boats in the yard reported being burglarized.
This is unfortunately pretty common, says DPD chief Dan Pasquariello.
“Pretty much every year around this time, as fisherman come back to Dillingham to prepare for the salmon season, we get reports that their vessels have been broken into over the course of the winter,” he said.
A few boats were found with sleeping bags and food items strewn about, indicating the suspects probably had just been squatting there. Some things do get stolen from fisherman each year, which the chief believes the public can help curtail.
“Help us solve the case and dry up the market. If someone is trying to sell you expensive electronics for a fishing boat, you should be weary as to where they have obtained those items,” said Pasquariello.
DPD catches harbor thieves some years, and some years they do not.
Another skipper who keeps his container van up the road a ways had a pair of burglars squatting there and stealing from him over many months. They were arrested last fall and convicted on various charges related to theft and burglary. Just a few weeks ago that skipper, wandering around at a downtown rally, saw one of the thieves wearing one of his sweatshirts, with the name of the skipper's boat on it.
Police were notified.
Reach KDLG fisheries reporter Nick Ciolino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907.842.5281