MARCO ISLAND, Fla. - Four Naples men are in jail tonight for prowling, but it's what they were caught with that may have them looking at heftier charges. The men were caught with suspicious tools, and now Marco Police are trying to link them to a rash of boat thefts on the island.
"I should be down there in 45 minutes," comes out of a speaker on the Slippery Ell II, a boat in Marco Island.
That voice is the owner of the boat, talking to a WINK News crew from miles away, but watching us live on camera.
"All the cameras are wired, so this camera immediately activates. This main camera is a 360 degree view," Jonathan Andrews points out on the vessel. His company, West Marine, helped outfit the boat with security cameras, microphones and more. The owner knows as soon as someone steps on board.
"The minute you break the plain of the boat, or there's any motion, cameras are automatically set off and it starts taking still pictures and actually emails the owner," Andrews explains.
Many of his customers are tricking out their boats with these devices, after expensive vessels started being snatched.
Andrews says boats are being stolen like crazy, "luckily one of the biggest ones was actually recovered because of a system he had on the boat."
Police are now trying to figure out if any of the four men they caught prowling in Marco Island early Thursday morning might be responsible for the recent thefts. They were caught with gloves, laser devices and 26 master ignition keys.
These might seem like obvious clues to some, but a surprise to Andrews. "Typically the boats that we see stolen are hotwired. Most people don't have time to go through multiple keys."
Marco Police are still investigating to figure out any links to these men and recent boat thefts. We will let you know what they find.