Stolen Sailboat Crew Arrested on Charges of Grand Theft and Conspiracy

The three suspects were booked into custody after they were assisted to shore with the aid of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Water Rescue Team.

Three suspects were arrested in Pacifica Monday for stealing a sailboat out of Sausalito.

Leslie Gardner, a 63 year old male, Dario Mira, a 54 year old male, and Lisa Modawell, a 56 year old female, were arrested on charges of grand theft and conspiracy, according to Capt. Joe Spanheimer of the Pacifica Police Department. 

At approximately 5:15 am., the Pacifica Police Department received a report that a boat had run aground just off of the Linda Mar State Beach.

A rescue operation began with the assistance of the North County Fire Authority, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, California Department of Fish & Game, and U.S. Coast Guard.

Efforts to communicate with individuals about the boat were refused. It was later determined that the vessel, an 80-foot sailboat, was stolen from Sausalito.

Several hours later, the Pacifica Police officers were able to communicate with the boats occupants from the shoreline. The occupants finally agreed to leave the boat and were assisted to shore with the aid of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Water Rescue Team.

After being interviewed, the suspects were transported to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and booked into custody.

Detectives from both the Pacifica Police Department and the Sausalito Police Department are continuing the investigation into the boat’s theft.

A vessel salvage rescue crew out of Sausalito is currently at Linda Mar Beach working on getting the bow of the boat turned around and out to sea as the tide comes in. A jet skier took the anchor line out several feet to secure the boat as the tide rises.

The goal is to slowly try and move the boat into position and when the tide gets high enough, gently pull her free. Salvage crews say it could take until 5 a.m. to free the yacht. They called in a more powerful tugboat on Monday night.

To read more about the incident, click here.

Christa Bigue March 05, 2013 at 04:03 AM
Look at this Automatic Identification System (AIS) track off Google maps sent in by Patch reader Patrick Bryant. Appears the thieves not only stole a boat that's continuously broadcasting its position, but also tried to make 360 degree turn at Daly City perhaps when they realized they were running out of fuel: http://aprs.fi/#!ts=1362355200&te=1362441600&call=i%2F319174000. Bryant writes in to Patch: "My guess is that's where the engine quit. After that, they became "sailors" and, with no spinning prop to compensate for their lack of sailing skills, the boat just drifted dead downwind until it ran aground. They'll have plenty of time now to read up on how to sail!"


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