Police: Thieves caught on camera using U-Haul truck to steal Jet Skis in Massapequa

A similar pattern happened to at least four other Nassau residents, who saw it take place on security camera video.

Caroline Flynn

Feb 29, 2024, 5:43 PM

Updated 52 days ago


Nassau police say investigations in to Jet Ski thefts in the county are ongoing, and that detectives are looking in to whether or not incidents are related.
On Tuesday morning, a fourth personal watercraft theft was reported as stolen from a driveway on Division Avenue in Massapequa. The owner, Joe Batista, said he was aware of recent thefts but thought his was safe. Thieves, he said, ignored the lock he had on it.
"I literally saw this a couple weeks ago. My wife showed me video and I was like, never. Then it happened to me. Do not leave then in your driveway," he said.
Over the last five weeks, four jet skis have been reported as stolen outside of homes in Locust Valley, East Meadow and Wantagh.
The thefts have several similarities, according to police statements and surveillance videos shared with News 12 by victims.
Incidents have occurred between 3am and 5am and involve a U-Haul which pulls up to the home where the theft occurs. In surveillance video the driver of the U-Haul is captured getting out to secure the jet ski while a person who waiting gets in the truck.
Monty Walton with Island Power Sports recommends owners invest in security to better protect their personal watercrafts , which can cost up to $21,000.
Walton explained, "the number one thing to do is get a GPS system for your ski. It sends a ping to your cell phone so you can see exactly where it is."
Items like Apple AirTags, he said, work too.
Walton said each time a customer purchases a jet ski at their Massapequa storefront, it's recommended they get a GPS system attached to the battery, but only 50% of the time customers do so.
Nassau police shared the following tips to protect your property from theft:
  • Park in well lite area
  • Preferably behind a fenced in area possibly in rear or side yard
  • Try and block the jet ski in to make it more difficult to steal
  • Try to secure so that it can’t be moved
  • Call police immediacy if you see or hear anything suspicious

More from News 12