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Three arrested after alleged yacht joy ride in Sausalito

March 5, 2013 | 11:26 am

Three people allegedly stole a yacht in Sausalito and went on a 20-mile joy ride before getting stuck in shallow waters off a beach, police said Tuesday.

Capt. Dan Steidle of the Pacifica Police Department could not confirm reports there was pizza and beer aboard the Darling. As of Tuesday morning, investigators had not yet boarded the 80-foot sailboat, which is being towed to Richmond, Steidle said.

Leslie Gardner, 63, Dario Mira, 54, and Lisa Modawell, 56, have been charged with grand theft and conspiracy and are being held in the San Mateo County Jail.

The yacht became marooned about 50 feet offshore of Linda Mar State Beach early Monday morning, officials said. As day broke, the unusual sight attracted gawkers and television cameras. The owner recognized his boat on TV and alerted authorities, police said.

Authorities said the three people aboard initially did not cooperate with police but were eventually taken into custody. They have not said much, Steidle said, except to indicate that their destination was Half Moon Bay, about 10 miles to the south.

"It's something you don't see everyday. You don't see an 80-foot sailboat sitting off the beach too often," Steidle said.

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-- Cindy Chang

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