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When thieves are on the prowl

There is no such thing as total protection but you can make it difficult for thieves.

Be it a partial or complete theft – thieves are usually professional and well targeted.  The insurance specialist Pantaenius is constantly on the heels of the thief, trying to stay one step ahead with a  worldwide unique tracking system and effective preventative measures, but sometimes even their hands are tied.

On average, 290 partial and total losses through theft are reported to Pantaenius each year. This equates to an annual loss of approx. €1.6 million. Theft is therefore the fifth highest cause of loss (11%) at Pantaenius - with collision damage occupying first place in the statistics for some years.

Unlike break-ins in houses and cars the yachting sector is not generally a victim of drug-related crime but rather specific targeted break-ins. The reason: the stolen goods are much harder to sell. "High quality navigational electronics and outboard motors are on the 'shopping list' of the burglars, but only have a very limited sector of takers", says Holger Flindt, Manager of the Loss Division at Pantaenius. “Whilst the insurance experts usually pursue quite conventional routes to track down the thieves. In the event of a break-in it is often worth having a look at eBay, where we have, in the past, been successful in locating and recovering some stolen goods"

In the organised theft of high quality luxury yachts it is important to act quickly. "A favourite channel for stolen yachts is from the Adriatic Coast and the Cote d'Azur to the Black Sea, as there is a huge demand for these luxury vessels particularly in Eastern Europe", said Flindt. "For us it is very important to find the vessels before they pass through the Bosporus.

For this reason we work closely with the Turkish Coast Guard and the pilots. Once a vessel has made it into the Black Sea, we have very few options left". One problem is that bona fide purchased goods that are then discovered to be stolen cannot be ordered to be returned from Russia. "That can be pretty frustrating" says Flindt who speaks from experience. “A team working on the theft of a stolen motor yacht were able to locate the stolen motor yacht in a lake near Moscow, even though it was evident that it was stolen i.e. the papers still contained the old name of the vessel - Pantaenius' hands were tied by Russian jurisprudence. Since the current owner could prove that he actually purchased the vessel from a dealer in good faith, who then disappeared, we have no hope in getting the boat back.“

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