R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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Texas is hot spot for watercraft theft

The state of Texas has a lot of watercraft theft compared to most other parts of the country. According to data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Texas ranks number three for watercraft theft after Florida and California. Although Texas is still one of the top five states for watercraft theft, there were fewer watercraft thefts in 2014 than there have been in other years.

The NCIB report covers data on watercraft theft reports between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. In 2014, there were a total of 5,181 reports of watercraft theft incidents in the United States. The data revealed that watercraft theft crimes have decreased by 6 percent for the second year in a row. Personal watercraft vessels are the type of watercraft that is stolen most often.

In Texas, there were 386 watercraft theft reports in 2014, and 40 percent of the stolen items were recovered. Florida, the top state for watercraft theft, had 1,290 reports of watercraft theft in 2014 with a recovery rate of 36 percent. Reports of watercraft theft in California totaled 507 for 2014, and 52 percent of the vessels were recovered.

A criminal defense attorney may be able to help a person who is facing a charge for watercraft theft to build a defense. An attorney may argue that the defendant's charges should be reduced because they did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the watercraft. Another defense could be that the defendant confused one watercraft for another that they were allowed to use.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Watercraft Thefts Down but Texas Still a Top State for Them: NICB," Sept. 30, 2015

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