SPRING PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — It was a beautiful July evening when Steve McCulloch, his brother and nephew decided to spend the night on McCulloch’s boat in the West Arm of Lake Minnetonka a little more than a week ago.
Moored in his slip at Rockvam Marina, McCulloch has always felt safe spending the night. Suddenly, the peace and tranquility of the lake was cast into question.
After Rockvam Marina was hit by vandals more than a year ago, security cameras were installed overlooking the boat slips, and in the early morning hours of July 20, two thieves struck again.
They walked down the dock and boarded the boat McCulloch and his family slept on. Police said at least 16 thefts have recently taken place on boats docked on Lake Minnetonka. Items stolen include alcohol, tools and electronics.
“I don’t know if they were looking for electronics, or what they were looking for,” McCulloch said. “But they opened the door, and saw me, and then turned around and ran.”
On the marina’s security cameras, one of the thieves is seen tucking a bottle of alcohol under his shirt.
“The night they were on my boat, they hit six other boats on this marina and took various items from them,” McCulloch said.
In fact, several other marinas have been targeted in recent weeks, including boats at Tonka Bay.
“It makes me angry,” said marina owner Gabe Jabbour.
Jabbour is confident the criminals will be caught. He is urging boat owners to spread the concept of the neighborhood watch to the docks.
“I think we should look at our neighbors and make sure their property is protected,” Jabbour said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Lake Minnetonka Water Patrol office at (763) 525-6216. To provide anonymous tips you can call, text or leave an online tip with Crime Stoppers.