Augusta police are investigating the burglary of a number of “Kayak Condo” storage containers at the East Side Boat Launch on Howard Street that saw thousands of dollars in property stolen.

Around 4 p.m. July 20, police responded to the report of a burglary on Howard Street. Augusta Police Sgt. Christian Behr said “minor damage” was done to the storage units, including cut locks. Behr said “several items of personally owned property” were stolen from two different victims.

A dummy camera, seen here on Friday, was placed on a nearby light post to discourage mischief near the “Kayak Condos.” Kennebec Journal photo by Sam Shepherd

Augusta Community Services Director Leif Dahlin said about $1,500 in property was stolen from the containers.

Augusta resident Robert Works said some of the five units he rents from the city were broken into, and the burglars stole two kayaks, three paddles and more than 30 fishing rods. He said he had renters’ insurance to cover the financial loss, but some of the fishing rods were antiques and he could never recoup the sentimental value.

There is no formal form of surveillance for the containers, according to Dahlin. He said he installed a “dummy” surveillance camera on a light post near the storage units “years ago” at the site and posted signs on the containers that alerted people to the camera’s presence. He said the camera was successful — until last weekend.

“It was too far of a pull for real cameras,” Dahlin said. “It’s very unfortunate.”

Works said the lack of surveillance at the property is “an insult to people who spend good money” on the units. Works said he spent $60 a month to rent five of the units, $20 a month for the one and $10 a month for the others. He said he planned to seek legal counsel over the incident.

Officers “frequently patrol” the area around the boat landing, Behr said.

Dahlin said there were 12 containers at the time of the incident, but only two remained at the boat landing Friday.

Behr said it is unknown how many people were involved in the burglary. The units taken away from the boat launch are now being stored at the police department.

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