The police and insurance companies have made great strides preventing outboard theft through database registration systems which make selling on stolen engines very difficult, so it was puzzling how such a large number of stolen outboards would be sold on.
The clue came last week when a number of aluminium masts were stolen from the dinghy park on the Hamble foreshore.
With the seemingly inexorable rise in commodity prices the value of scrap aluminium is very high so presumably these stolen marine items are being melted down and are untraceable.
While this might be an organised racket these are hardly master criminals at work, what these dopey "tea leaves" didn't realise as they carried off the outboard from one particular boat was that there was 600lbs of lead ingot ballast just under the floor boards.
Lets hope the police catch them soon.