Nassau County

Thieves use U-Haul to steal jet skis from 4 Long Island homes in middle of night

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A string of jet ski thefts are plaguing Nassau County, and in every case, the thieves are using a U-Haul truck to tow the jet ski away.

Police say the first incident happened on Jan. 20 in Locust Valley. Three days later, the same thing happened on William Road in North Massapequa, and again on Jan. 28 the thieves struck again in East Meadow.  The most recent incident happened on Tuesday in Massapequa on Division Avenue.

Joe Batista says he locked up his jet ski, but did not anticipate it being towed right off his driveway.

“I work very hard for what I have and then I get to watch it on camera,” said Batista. “Watch them take my stuff. It felt horrible. I felt defiled.”

Security camera footage from cameras on the street show individuals getting out of the U-Haul to hitch the jet ski to the truck and then calmly driving away. This occurred around 3 a.m., when most were sleeping.

David Gottlieb, of North Massapequa, said his jet ski was also stolen in the dead of night. He did not even know until he looked out his window. His security cameras also showed a U-Haul truck driving away.

“I don’t expect to get it back,” said Gottlieb. “This was so violating, unfortunately it’s a loss to me.” 

Nassau Police declined to comment but said there are some steps owners can take to secure their jet skis, like putting it behind a fenced in area, blocking the jet ski with a car to make it harder to steal, and to call police if they see or hear anything suspicious.

Batista just bought the jet ski for his kids to enjoy this summer. He hopes police will be able to locate it.

“Hopefully they will get them, I’m sure [the theives] will mess up soon,” said Batista. “And remember, it’s a U-Haul truck. So if anybody sees a U-Haul truck driving around at 3:15 in the morning, call the police.”

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