DEPOE BAY — A town elder last week blamed poor lighting for the recent theft of at least $7,000 in fishing gear from private boats moored in the harbor.
At a Sept. 5 meeting, City Councilman Loren Goddard said malfunctioning security lights allowed a thief to rifle “a couple of different boats” for equipment. A city official later confirmed the burglaries, saying expensive rods, reels and other tackle were stolen and later sold on eBay.
“It’s really bad that’s occurred,” lamented Goddard, a charter operator who said the harbor is usually crime-free. “It’s just never been a problem for years and years. But now I’ve started locking my boat, which I never used to do because it’s too hard to figure the combination in the dark.”
City Superintendent Brady Weidner said police collected a thumbnail drive with video of the August burglary, but the evidence was sketchy. The city has four security cameras in the harbor.
“It showed some stuff, but the images were small and dark,” he said. “But the image does show a vehicle, and the sheriff has some leads.”
Acting Harbormaster Kody Robinson claimed much of the stolen gear was sold on Facebook and Craigslist to a buyer in Lincoln City. He said the property is now in the custody of the Lincoln City Police Department.
“The criminal that was named and pointed out on the video is still at large,” he said, reasoning the case is in limbo as police and the sheriff’s office sort out jurisdiction.
Lieutenant Brian Cameron of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said a file was opened on “the theft of fishing items” in August, but found no further developments.
“We have no suspects and nothing to suggest an active crime ring,” he said.
Weidner, the public works chief, reported this week the city has called the Central Lincoln PUD about the faulty lights. The electric provider is responsible for servicing the fixtures.