Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Coast Guard seeks help on battery thefts: St. Johns River, Florida

The Coast Guard said four batteries, that each weigh approximately 40 pounds and costs $106.86, have been stolen since the end of April from federally owned navigational aids in the St. Johns River from Sanford to DeBary. 
(PHOTO/U.S. Coast Guard)

Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard's Aids to Navigation Team are seeking the public's help in gathering information about the theft of four batteries from federally owned channel markers on the St. Johns River. 

According to Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Soto, someone has removed the batteries on markers in waters in the area of Sanford and DeBary.

"Non-functioning navigation aids can endanger mariners who rely on them for safe navigation," Soto said in a release issued Tuesday. "That may cause accidents."

The batteries weigh 40-pounds each and cost $106.86 per unit, Soto said.

He said vandalism of aids to navigation is a federal offense with, depending on the violation, a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 upon conviction.

Anyone with information about the thefts, which started in April, is asked to contact Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Holt, officer in charge of the Aids to Navigation Team, Station Ponce de Leon in New Smyrna Beach by calling 386-427-3227.

Source:   http://www.news-journalonline.com

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