A man and his girlfriend were released from police custody after another man was charged with the theft of a luxury yacht. The three individuals were originally charged with the theft of the 82-foot yacht, but police were forced to release the couple after determining that there was no evidence to indicate that the boat was stolen.

The luxury ship, which is valued at $2.8 million, was stolen from the pier at Sausalito Yacht Harbor, according to police. Authorities believe that the 63-year-old suspect broke into the yacht, found the keys and took off down the coast on a pleasure cruise with the other couple aboard. The suspect is being held on $1.01 million bail.

Allegedly, the suspect told the couple that he inherited the yacht, and he invited them on a ride down to Santa Cruz with a stop in Half Moon Bay. When accosted by police, the suspect drove the boat in a circle and grounded it near Linda Mar. The three individuals finally surrendered to police after attempts by the Coast Guard to communicate with them and orders by the police.

A suspect accused of theft who has an explanation for the crime may be able to mount a successful defense. When this happens, suspects often turn to criminal defense attorneys to represent them and explain their actions to a jury. In some cases, suspects may decide to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge in order to avoid long jail sentences or heavy fines. People in California who face theft charges may find it beneficial to consult knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys who may clarify their rights and options.

Source: Contra Costa Times, “One charged, two released in Sausalito yacht theft,” Joshua Melvin, March 6, 2013