Engines worth £30,000 stolen from Rutland Watersports

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THIEVES stole £30,000 worth of engines in an organised raid on Tuesday.

The six Honda engines were stolen from Rutland Watersports in Whitwell between 7pm on Tuesday and 8.45am on Wednesday.

Three were taken from rescue boats locked up in a secure area. The others were stolen from a storage area.

Anglian Water owns and manages the centre and rescue services at Rutland Water.

Spokesman Ciaran Nelson said if a neighbouring company had not come to the rescue, activities at Rutland Water would have had to be cancelled on Wednesday.

He said: “Six of our nine engines were stolen. But we were able to call on help from Rutland Water Fishing Lodge and were allowed to use a few of its boats.

“There’s absolutely no way we could have let anybody out on the water on Wednesday and we would have stopped anyone who tried to sail. There are restricted access points all over the reservoir.

“On Wednesday we had more than 100 children on the water and without our helpful neighbours we would not have been able to take them out.

“Fortunately we were able to get up and running.”

It is almost a year to the day since seven engines were stolen from the same location.

Police are treating the thefts as an organised crime raid.

The locks to the storage area were cut open and the engines were cut from the back of three boats.

Rutland police commander Johnny Monks said: “It seems like it was very organised.

“I don’t think the thieves realise the impact they have when they take engines off boats. People’s lives could be put in danger.

“We are carrying out a full investigation and are doing everything we can to catch these thieves.”

Rutland Watersports had made a number of changes to its security since the thefts last year.

It no longer keeps boats out on the water overnight and stores them locked in a secure area that is out of sight of the public.

Mr Nelson said: “We appear to have some very persistent thieves who are targeting us.

“If anybody has any information or is offered a boat engine for scrap or in working order I would urge them to contact the police.”

Police can be contacted on 0116 222 2222.