Luxury Yacht Stolen in Sausalito - Three Held

Two men and a woman packed pizza and beer aboard a luxury sailboat in a Sausalito marina, stole it in the middle of the night and made it as far as Pacifica before the vessel ran aground 20 yards off a beach Monday.

Stolen Sailboat

Local and state police gather on the beach as they negotiate with three suspects that onboard a stolen yacht. An 82-foot sailboat stolen from the Sausalito Yacht Harbor ran aground at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, CA, Monday March 4th, 2013.Michael Short, Special To The Chronicle

Two men and a woman packed pizza and beer aboard a luxury sailboat in a Sausalito marina, stole it in the middle of the night and made it as far as Pacifica before the vessel ran aground 20 yards off a beach Monday, authorities said.

The three then spent hours being tossed about in the waves in the 82-foot Darling as authorities, alerted to the theft by a man who recognized his boat on the TV news, waited with guns drawn on Linda Mar Beach.

The three suspects - Leslie Gardner, 63, Dario Mira, 54, and Lisa Modawell, 56 - were pulled off the boat onto personal watercraft by San Mateo County sheriff's deputies about noon and handed over to Pacifica police, who booked them on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy.

When authorities boarded the Darling, they found cases of pale ale and a pizza box, said Jeff Wadkins, a state parks lifeguard and park ranger who was one of those to scour the vessel. "There looks like there was quite a bit of alcohol drinking onboard," he said.

The contents of the boat were in disarray, apparently because of the rough surf, Wadkins said, and the three suspects showed signs of seasickness.

One of the men limped as authorities led him away, apparently because he uses a prosthetic leg, Wadkins said.

The 2004 boat has three cabins, each with its own bathroom, and a satellite TV with Dolby surround sound, according to an online description of the boat. The vessel is also stocked with an inflatable outboard boat that comes with water skis. Comparable sailboats sell for $2.8 million.

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