PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Jerry Turiello spent his whole life saving for his dream boat, only to have it taken from him while he was asleep.
"The front hitch of the trailer has been removed by me, to prevent a theft," said Turiello.
The hitch is about the only piece Turiello is left with of his 30-foot boat, "Donzi." On Wednesday, Turiello woke up to find his estimated $160,000 dollar retirement gift to himself had vanished from his front yard.
"I feel violated. I feel like I just had my legs cut off," said Turiello.
A surveillance camera from a neighbor reveals a truck, Turiello believes is involved, driving toward his home just after 2 a.m. Wednesday. The boat owner said the thieves went as far as bringing tools, and a hitch. Turiello said the thieves also had to have a mechanic to install the gear.
A few hours later, the footage shows Turiello's boat rolling down the street.
"When you can come in front of somebody's house on their property with a mechanic and start bolting a trailer together and another truck with another guy flashing lights and pull your stuff away, you know it's out of hand," said Turiello.
The Palm Beach Gardens resident filed a report with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office which told Turiello he was the fourth stolen boat case in the past few weeks. A frequency of thefts that is now rattling the core of the neighborhood.
"It's a very nice neighborhood. It took me a long time to get here, but the robberies, my God. I'm afraid to go to sleep at night," said Turiello.
PBSO spokesperson Teri Barbera said there are not any leads on the stolen boat. Investigators said the marine detective on the case has managed to return two of the four boats that have been stolen in the past two weeks in the neighborhood where Turiello lives.
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