Florida man offering $20,000 reward for return of more than a dozen racing boats stolen in Romulus

Posted: 10:22 PM, Aug 08, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-08 22:23:10-04

A $20,000 reward is being offered for the return of at least $50,000 worth of racing boats that were stolen from A Florida man's trailer during his trip to Michigan in June. 

Ken Haines drove from Stuart, Fla., to Michigan with his wife and 14-year-old stepson for a competition in Leonard. One morning he noticed his burgundy trailer stolen from the parking lot of the Embassy Suites in Romulus. Inside the trailer were 21 radio control racing boats, many of them custom-built, that Haines collected over many years.

"Ten years of hard work just pretty much down the tubes," Haines said at the time.

Haines took to Facebook, appealing to his fellow boat racers to get the word out about the theft.

A few days later a Good Samaritan spotted the trailer behind a bar in southwest Detroit and contacted Haines.

Excited, he and his wife rushed over, only to find the trailer completely ransacked. The boats, its motors, and other equipment, totaling at least $50,000 were stolen.

"It ruins everything for us," Haines said. "It's like getting robbed twice," he added.

Haines and his family were looking forward to going to Seattle in July for a national competition. Haines said he wasn't sure how much insurance would cover for the loss.

He says he only wants the items returned and will pay the reward once they are returned at safe location. No questions will be asked. He says he isn't looking to prosecute any, he just wants his property returned for their sentimental value.

"Please have a heart,” Haines appealed to the thieves at the time the boats were stolen.

Anyone with information can call Romulus police or 7 Action News at 248-827-9407.