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Break-ins at the Boardwalk

Fred Fisher, the marina host for the Coos Bay Boardwalk, stands in the doorway of his 61-foot salmon and tuna troller 'Tralee' at the Coos Bay Boardwalk on Dec. 26. Fisher, a commercial fisherman for over 40 years, found his boat broken into in March 2016.

COOS BAY — Boat owners docked at the Coos Bay Boardwalk have once again pleaded to the Coos Bay City Council for increased security on the Boardwalk.

After five boat break-ins in the past year the boat owners feel a gate, which would only be locked late at night, should be placed at the entrance to the docks to prevent people breaking in to the boats.

Marina host for the Coos Bay Boardwalk, Fred Fisher, said “We’re not wanting to keep people from coming down to the docks, because it’s a public area, but basically after 9 or 10 p.m. if you don’t have business on then you don’t have any business on the dock.”

There are 23 boats docked at the Coos Bay Boardwalk. Boat owners who have had their boats broken into have experienced not only theft but also property damage.

“We’ve had the luxury of a long time of not having to have locks. It’s been a nice town to live in, much nicer than some places, but maybe those times have come to a close,” Fisher said.

City council seemed interested in helping the dock dwellers. Owners even offered to help with the cost of their purposed gate.

There were around 10 people who showed up to express their displeasure with the current level of security the boardwalk docks. In the interest of saving time the council scheduled a work session with the boat owners three weeks from last Tuesday so that everyone would be able to voice their opinion on the issue.

Mayor Joe Benetti said at meeting, “I appreciate the boats being down there as an attraction. It’s something that a long time ago I was an advocate for… I want you to know we’re going to have our staff look into this.”

It’s uncertain whether or not the city council will approve the request for a gate at the docks or not, but a work session is a step in the right direction.

“I didn’t expect anyone to jump up and build a gate tomorrow, but the wheels of the city are turning and that’s what we want,” Fisher said.

According to Fisher some of the boardwalk residents have taken precautionary measures since the influx of break-ins, some setting up motion lights to hopefully deter criminals.

The boat owners are asking for a gate that would be open during the day but would be locked at night by either a key pad combination or a key card so that dock residents could still come and go if they needed.