General Crime

Bail for Suspected Yacht Thieves Set a $1 Million Dollars

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Three people who were arrested on Monday after being pulled from a stolen luxury sailboat that ran aground off the Pacifica coast are being held on $1.01 million bail, the district attorney said today. The steep bail amount set for Leslie Gardner, 63, Dario Mora, 54 and Lisa Modawell, 56, was based on the value of the alleged stolen property, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

The 82-foot sailing vessel “Darling,” was apparently made by British yacht manufacturers Oyster Yachts, and similar models are offered for sale by online boat merchants for between $2 million and $3 million. The three suspects were removed from the boat by San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies on Jet Skis more than six hours after the sailboat ran aground in shallow water off of Linda Mar Beach early Monday morning.

The stranded boat was first reported to the North County Fire Authority at 5:18 a.m., spokesman Matt Lucett said. During the morning media coverage of the incident, Sausalito police received a call from the owner of the boat saying it had been stolen from the Sausalito Yacht Harbor, Sausalito police Sgt. Bill Fraass said.

According to Fraass, the boat’s owner was watching the news broadcast of the beached vessel when he recognized the boat as his own. Gardner, Mora and Modawell were arrested at about noon on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy, Pacifica police Capt. Joe Spanheimer said. They are expected to be arraigned later this week. The “Darling” was recovered early this morning by salvage crews working for the boat’s owner and was towed to Richmond for repairs.

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