An early-morning distress call resulted in three arrests as a wayward 82-foot sailboat stuck on a sand bar near Pacifica turned out to be stolen from Sausalito.
It is believed that the vessel was stolen in the wee hours and was grounded at about 5:30 a.m. Monday between 75 and 100 yards from the Pacifica shoreline.
Sausalito Police Sgt. Bill Fraass said “The Darling” is “among the largest” boats in Sausalito’s marinas. He said most boat thefts are of small inflatables or dinghies and that “a vessel this large is a rarity.”
The sailboat was trapped at Pacifica State Beach in shallow water and unable to get back out to sea, reported Pacifica Police Capt. Joe Spanheimer. A U.S. Coast Guard ship reached The Darling, but the trio refused to leave the boat, instead trying to rock the boat free from the sand bar.
Fraass said that the sailboat’s owner saw a news report of a stolen vessel and recognized The Darling.
The boat's owner, whose name was not released as the investigation continues, was traveling to Pacifica Monday afternoon to work with authorities on removing the sailboat from the beach.
Spanheimer said the arrest was a rarity for Pacifica, as the city has no marina.
The three suspects, two men and a woman are facing charges of grand theft and conspiracy; they are being held at the San Mateo County Jail. They were identified at Leslie Gardner, 62, Dario Mira, 53, and Lisa Modawell, 55.
Patch’s Pacifica site has a timeline of the events.
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