Police said more than 30 boats dry-docked and wrapped up for the winter were broken into earlier this month in Dubuque.

The rash of break-ins occurred to winterized boats at American Marine and Dubuque Marina, according to authorities.

Dubuque Police spokesman Lt. Joe Messerich said management at American Marine at the Dubuque Yacht Basin, 1630 E. 16th St., reported that 10 to 12 shrink-wrapped boats had been cut into and rummaged through on Jan. 8.


Messerich said the marina contacted affected boat owners. Two owners told police their boats had been rummaged through sometime between midnight Jan. 7 and about 12:30 p.m. Jan. 12, but nothing was taken. One owner reported finding property that was not his that had been left on the boat.

Dubuque Marina, 1201 Shiras Ave. Ext., reported about 30 boats with damage to boat covers that had been rummaged through on Jan. 3.

One boat owner reported the theft of a $20 waterproof phone case. Others reported the theft of $20 in cash and $20 worth of alcohol. Two owners reported damage to boat covers estimated at $400 each.

Another owner reported he first noticed his boat was burglarized on Dec. 20.

Like at American Marine, Messerich said an item was left behind by a suspect or suspects that was turned over as possible evidence.

“It’s not uncommon to see winterized boats broken into during this time of year,” he said. “Night shift frequently goes through the marinas and spotlights boats and open areas to make sure there’s nobody back there. But the best guidance is don’t store any items of value in your boats and check them from time to time. If they’ve been tampered with, let marina owners and police know right away.”

Anyone with information about the break-ins can submit information at cityofdubuque.org/2135/ID4PD, by calling police at 563-589-4415 or by calling Dubuque & Jo Daviess County Crime Stoppers at 563-588-0714 or 800-747-0117.

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