The Pasco County Sheriff's office is searching for two boat thieves who detectives say stole a boat in New Port Richey.
The boat was docked in the Gulf Harbors subdivision, behind a vacation rental on Floramar Terrace. Ardyth Fitzgerald and her husband, visiting from Canada, say they tied the boat up to the dock last Tuesday night and went to bed.
When the couple woke up, they say the boat was gone.
"It's a lovely neighborhood. Who would do that," Fitzgerald said. "This boat especially."
But it's actually happened before, to the very same owner. Dan Fickes rents out the home and said the boat is part of the deal. A couple of years ago, he said his boat was stolen from the very same dock. It was recovered a week later, without the motor. This time around, his boat was found a short distance up the canal, the very same day. But again, the motor was missing.
"Twice we've had the boat and motor stolen from this location," Fickes said. "And each time we've gotten the boat back but not the motor."
Fickes said though the boat doesn't look like much, the motor is worth about $2,600. And unlike the bigger boats nearby, a thief won't need a crane to get it out of the water.
"I guess going through their mind is gosh, that looks like a newer model," said Fickes. "If we could pick that motor up and probably easily get $1,000 for it."
Surveillance video taken from a nearby business shows the two suspects in this most recent incident floating by on the boat, trying to get it started. While detectives work to identify the men, Fickes said he isn't taking any chances.
He has a new motor for his boat and it's now under lock and key. He also plans to buy his own surveillance camera so if the thieves stop by again, he'll be ready.
"I know the sheriff would like to catch them," Fickes said. "But I'd like to catch them even more."