Three middle-aged miscreants created a boisterous mob scene after stealing an 82-foot yacht from the Sausalito Yacht Harbor near San Francisco, California. The crew had a beer and pizza party, took a crazy ride and hosted a standoff with police on Monday. A lively crowd of about 150 people joined in to view and cheer the proceedings. The dizzy crew ran the yacht aground after barging south from Sausalito, running through the Golden Gate, weaving past San Francisco and sailing in a circle. The boat, named "Darling", eventually ran aground at Linda Mar Beach. According to a March 5 article in The Mercury News, the stunned owner caught on when he saw the scene on the evening news.
The police standoff went on for several hours. At one point a SWAT team trained assault rifles on the boat. Eventually, lifeguards pulled the resisting celebrants from the boat and took Leslie Gardner, 63, Dario Mira, 54 and Lisa Modawell, 55 to San Mateo County jail. The three were booked on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy.
The Darling was not in good shape, The interior was strewn with pizza boxes and beer containers and items were knocked from shelves. The owner refused to make a public statement when he appeared at the scene.
The yacht is estimated to be worth $2.8 million. It boasts three luxury cabins, state-of-the art satellite television and surround sound. The yacht was advertised as available for charter, but the thieves chose not to go that route. As a result, the authorities were forced to wait until high tide before the boat could be towed to Richmond for repairs. Fortunately, the boat's 850 gallon gas tanks did not appear to be leaking.
According to a later March 5 Mercury News article, a San Mateo court set bail for the crew at $1 million. They will remain in jail until at least Wednesday when the District Attorney decides which, if any charges are to be filed against them.