Yacht theives arrested after stolen vessel ran aground at Linda Mar Beach 

click to enlarge Leslie Gardner, 63, Dario Mora, 54, and Lisa Modawell, 56, were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy after a yacht they'd been sailing ran aground at a beach in Pacifica. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images File Photo
  • Leslie Gardner, 63, Dario Mora, 54, and Lisa Modawell, 56, were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy after a yacht they'd been sailing ran aground at a beach in Pacifica.

Two men and a woman were arrested in connection with the theft of a yacht that ran aground at a Pacifica beach early this morning, a police spokesman said.

Leslie Gardner, 63, Dario Mora, 54, and Lisa Modawell, 56, were arrested at about noon on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy, Pacifica police Capt. Joe Spanheimer said.

The North County Fire Authority received a report of an 82-foot boat in distress in shallow water near Linda Mar Beach at 5:18 a.m., fire spokesman Matt Lucett said.

The vessel "Darling" had run aground there, Coast Guard Ensign Corinne Gaines said. No injuries were reported, Gaines said. The Coast Guard dispatched a swimmer to supply the sailboat crew with a radio, she said. Sausalito police received a call just before 8 a.m. from the owner of the boat saying it had been stolen from the Sausalito Yacht Harbor, Sgt. Bill Fraass said.

The boat's owner was watching the news broadcast of the beached vessel when he recognized the boat as his own.

The Coast Guard ordered the occupants off the vessel for their safety but did not receive a response. San Mateo County sheriff's deputies used jet skis to help remove the trio from the boat, sheriff's spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt said.

One of the three suspects had prosthetic leg, Spanheimer said. Lucett said it was low tide this morning, and the boat was stuck in about 4 feet of water.

He said high tide will not peak until 10 p.m. The owner of the yacht was at the scene and had contracted a salvage team to help free the vessel, Spanheimer said. It is unclear whether the suspects know the owner of the boat.

The theft remains under investigation.

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