PACIFICA, Calif. — Two of three people arrested on suspicion of stealing a yacht were set to be released from jail just days after the vessel ran aground in Northern California.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that charges were dropped on Wednesday against 54-year-old Dario Mira and 56-year-old Lisa Modawell after prosecutors determined they didn't know the 82-foot sailboat was stolen.
Police say the vessel "Darling" was taken early Monday from Sausalito Yacht Harbor, and ran aground more than 20 miles south at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. Authorities say it was stocked it with pizza and beer, and the suspect drove it a little more than 20 miles before running it aground.
Prosecutors said charges will still be filed against 63-year-old Leslie Gardner of Gillette, Wyo.
The strange tale began early Monday when beachgoers phoned police to report the sailboat in trouble.
The yacht was trapped in shallow water at low tide and unable to get back out to sea. A few wetsuit-clad surfers had paddled out in the frigid water near the grounded vessel as its hull was battered by 4- to 5-foot waves.
After television news reports of the grounding aired, the boat's owner called police to report it stolen from Sausalito, about 20 miles to the north, police said.
Authorities made brief contact with the three people on board, but the people at first refused to disembark.
Once officers were alerted that it was a stolen vessel, police surrounded it with guns drawn. After a few hours, the trio agreed to be taken off of the yacht, jumping onto personal watercraft and being quickly ferried to shore.
Pacifica police Capt. Dan Steidle said there was some indication the trio was planning to take the vessel to Pillar Point Harbor, about 10 miles south of where they ended up.
"They have been less than cooperative with our investigative efforts," Steidle said.
Gardner, Mira and Modawell were being held at the San Mateo County jail and were scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, a high tide moved in and provided enough water for crews to dislodge the yacht from the a sandbar where it had gotten stuck. The boat had a damaged rudder and keel, and was taken to a repair yard in Richmond.