BETHEL ISLAND -- Sheriff's officials are telling boat owners to be on the lookout, as a recent spike in thefts saw at least six boats taken in October.

Thefts were reported on Dutch Slough Road, Sandmound Boulevard and Sandmound Slough, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office. Two of the boats have been recovered without their engines; the other four have not been found.

Sheriff David Livingston said that the Marine Services Unit had increased patrols in the area, but called on boaters and residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity they see.

The Marine Services Unit offered tips to help safeguard boats and valuables:

  • Lock away valuables and keep them out of sight.

  • Do not leave outboard motors attached. They are being targeted. Secure them properly.

  • Take photographs of your boat and expensive equipment.

  • Mark or engrave your property with your driver's license or identification number or vessel registration number (CF number).

  • Record the serial numbers of your boat and equipment.

  • Consider installing a boat alarm.

    Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at djimenez@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.