The owners of the Hurst Marina in Manotick are hoping for help tracking down the guys who stole two boats off their lot over the weekend.

The whole heist was captured on surveillance video.

Mark Hurst still hasn't had a chance to fix the lock that the thieves cut through early Saturday morning.

“They used a hand-held grinder to cut through,” Hurst says as he stands outside the fence surrounding the property on River Road.

From their surveillance cameras, you can see the sparks fly on the heavy metal chain and within 40 seconds, the thief or thieves are in. It's about 1 a.m. An hour later, the driver of a white Jeep Grand Cherokee is seen going through the gate and within minutes, he makes off with the first boat, a used 2016 Axis T23.

Two hours later, he comes back to hook up the second boat, a 2017 Axis T23, and  disappears with about $200,000 worth of equipment in tow.

“We have lots of information and video footage of them doing it,” says Hurst, “and they didn't seem to care we had video cameras on them.”

The owners of the restaurant next door say the same guy came pounding on their door a few hours earlier, just as they were closing up.

“It was definitely the same guy,” says David Pettit with the Swan on the Rideau, “and he wasn't looking too great. I would say he was pretty high.”

There are serial numbers on all the boats at the Hurst Marina so reselling them for what they are worth is difficult.  Hurst figures the thieves will get about $2000 for each boat.  The re-seller, he assumes, will get about $10,000, selling it to someone who knows but doesn't care that they're stolen.”

It's a brazen crime, given that recreational boaters were asleep in the marina just metres away. But with air conditioners running on a hot summer evening, they likely didn’t hear anything.  Michel St. Jacques is from Quebec and arrived at the marina Monday.  He says it’s shocking someone would steal boats right from the marina.

“Of course, you have a market for that, eh?  That's the problem.”

Hurst says his company does carry insurance, though the deductible will be in the tens of thousands.  He has also contacted several security companies to upgrade his security system and plans to park vehicles in front of every gate.

“But at end of day,” he says, “if someone wants to steal something, it’s almost impossible to stop them.”

Ottawa Police are investigating but Mark Hurst isn't convinced he'll see his boats again. He expects they will end up on a small lake some place where no one will notice. Patricia