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Last night..... somebody stole my “Peace of Mind”

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Last night..... somebody stole my “Peace of Mind”

Old 05-21-2020, 12:27 PM
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Default Last night..... somebody stole my “Peace of Mind”

Just a little background. I live in a condo complex that sits right on the intracoastal, with docks that are on the canal side of our building. I own one of the docks. Since it is a canal front dock and not a boat slip, I secure my boat with 18’ whips, 2 breast lines, and forward and rear spring lines. Everything is adjusted perfectly!


So today I wake up and am having my morning cup of coffee. I happen to look down at my boat and it is slamming into the dock below. I can see from above that the spring lines are no longer connected to the dock. My first thought is that a huge boat went by and ripped the cleats out of the dock. When I get down to my boat I find that someone has uncleated the spring lines and thrown them in the water. These are the lines that keep the boat from going forward or backwards, and without them, the whips collapse sideways, allowing boat to be damaged by wakes.

So I am scratching my head wondering if someone tried to steal the boat, and got scared away halfway through or what could possibly explain what has happened?

Here is where the story gets interesting.

I go to my buildings security office to check the video cameras. It just so happens that my boat sits right in front of a camera and it shows exactly what happened. At 4am my neighbor untied my boat! He tried to untie all the lines and whips, but you can tell he did not know how to release pressure on whips.

My wife talks me into calling Broward Sheriffs Dept, instead of...... me knocking on his door! I was so worked up at the time I found out who had done this, that I am not sure how the door knock would have gone, but I am pretty sure it would not have gone well.

So we call the Sheriffs office and they come out. 2 officers. They view the video tape, then go to speak with my neighbor. The neighbor is having some sort of episode, and the Sheriffs Dept ends up having to Baker Act the neighbor, who is now in a mental hospital for the next 72 hours. The Sheriffs deputies also tell us he has no recollection of untying the boat. He is in his 70’s and suffering from several mental issues.

He is going to be released on Sunday and now I am worried he will do it again.

I am not sure what I should do next? The Sheriffs deputy suggested that I cable lock the boat to the dock. I don’t want to live like that. I am hoping that he never returns to our building, but that is unrealistic. I have not spoken to him yet, but when and if I see him at my dock, I am not sure if I can control my displeasure, since I am going to have trouble sleeping at night for the foreseeable future.

I welcome some constructive comments on this issue. How would you handle it?
Old 05-21-2020, 12:31 PM
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Take the guy fishing?
Old 05-21-2020, 12:32 PM
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Maybe he thought he was going fishing! It's a real possibility that it was a 1 time thing, especially if he doesn't know you......or does he?

Maybe he'll stay in the Looney Bin until he gets medicated properly.

Old 05-21-2020, 12:33 PM
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Can you trailer it?
Old 05-21-2020, 12:34 PM
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That's crazy (well, literally). At least you know he didn't do it intentionally.

You could probably secure your lines to the cleats with a bit of effort. (think padlock, SS cable, heck even big zip ties) That won't stop him from untying from the boat end but probably worth doing.

Any particular reason he went after your boat instead of another?

Honestly sounds like this will probably end badly, not for you but for him... I had an elderly neighbor who was having similar problems, I got his daughter's phone # and loosely kept tabs on him and reported the issues back to her.. eventually she came and got him which was the right thing to do.

I think you'll be ok with adding a few more precautions. If possible, you might also want to invest in a smart wifi camera like a ring or nest, something you can set up to send you activity alerts for "unusual" times.
Old 05-21-2020, 12:37 PM
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Had a co worker showing up to work at all kinds of random times through the night. One time he came it at 3am, sat there for an hour and then texted the manager that he was going home because no one was showing up to work (we start at 7am).

Turns out he had a brain tumor and it was causing all kinds of erratic behavior. Sucks for your neighbor. At least he didn't cause any damage to your boat?
Old 05-21-2020, 12:42 PM
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Also a cable lock in addition to other theft deterrents should be a MUST on any boat kept outside, especially in a slip.
Old 05-21-2020, 12:47 PM
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I think large zip ties (like Flot pointed out) around the cleated lines would make it difficult for an unprepared person to untie without a knife.

You could take about 10 seconds to cut them with dikes when you want to go out. Peace of Mind restored!!

Old 05-21-2020, 12:52 PM
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it depends on how you want to play it. Is the boat damaged? did he get on the boat? thats trespassing. I would add my own security cameras.

Old 05-21-2020, 12:58 PM
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Do what you can to secure your boat from a future incident. Maybe even install a security light if able. The dude is probably loosing his mental faculty due to dementia. If it happens again time to call a family member to get involved. Sucks for both of you.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:01 PM
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Find out if he has any kids? It sounds like you are living in a decent place so the guy isn't some homeless wack job. If you can find some family and make them aware of the situation you might find they are willing to help the situation. Crazy Story though, sounds like you actually lucked out.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Jongeherin View Post
Find out if he has any kids? It sounds like you are living in a decent place so the guy isn't some homeless wack job. If you can find some family and make them aware of the situation you might find they are willing to help the situation. Crazy Story though, sounds like you actually lucked out.
This^^^^^^.

Sounds like he had no malicious intent, just confused and ill.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jus Teasin View Post
Maybe he thought he was going fishing! It's a real possibility that it was a 1 time thing, especially if he doesn't know you......or does he?

Maybe he'll stay in the Looney Bin until he gets medicated properly.

I do not know him. However, I have found him sitting on the sea wall in front of my boat for several months now. He has actually been sitting there talking to himself, but until now, he has not bothered me at all. It looks like that is where he likes to hang out.

After he is released and I look down and see him sitting there...... what should I do? Now I know he is capable of untying boat. Every time I see him near my boat..... I will wonder if he is going to do it again. What do you say to somebody that you know has mental problems?

The zip tie idea is great since the lines never come off the cleats, once Boat is properly positioned and tied up.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:19 PM
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id say throw his ass in, but you said there are cameras.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post
id say throw his ass in, but you said there are cameras.
Abusing the elderly can get you some stiff jail time. I'd re-think that idea.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:30 PM
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Is there such a thing of a restraining order against property?
Old 05-21-2020, 01:37 PM
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Sounds like this is a tough one. Hopefully the mental facility orders an MRI. I'd be torn between being PISSED and feeling bad for the guy. Really sounds like he may be suffering.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:43 PM
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Even though I am upset.... and I now know he has been Baker Acted, there is no way whatsoever that I am going to harm him in any way. In fact, now that I know what I know, I am having an even harder time figuring out ”what” and “how” I will address this issue, when I see him just feet away from my boat.

I almost wish it had been teenagers. I would have enjoyed scolding them! Mr Baker also stole that opportunity!

Here is the bottom line...... I am now worried. Can’t be any more honest than that.

I do appreciate the responses. What would you say to Mr Baker given the circumstances?
Old 05-21-2020, 01:48 PM
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Say nothing, it's not worth it and won't help. You might want to put a ring type camera near on your boat, you would be notified when someone came near it. Although you'd have to mess with the sensitivity to prevent a boats wake from setting off the motion detector.
Old 05-21-2020, 02:03 PM
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Well, I take offense at the casual use of the term "Baker Act".
JK....

Sounds like he was confused and not trying to be malicious. A coworkers FIL was going through these kinds of things. He'd call the coworker all worked up that someone stole his truck! It wasn't in the drive. When asked if it was in the garage he declared that he already checked there. A few minutes later he'd call back and explain that the thieves must have brought his truck back.

Dementia is a sad thing.

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