Sausalito Yacht Thief Leaves Jail, Ordered to Pay $1.3 M

By AIMEE LEWIS STRAIN Bay City news
|  Thursday, Oct 24, 2013  |  Updated 8:47 AM PDT
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DA Charges One Sailboat Thief, Sets Others Free

NBC Bay Area

Leslie Gardner, 62, was arrested March 4 at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica after it was discovered around 5:20 a.m. that day that the 82-foot sailboat "Darling" had run aground at the beach.

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A Wyoming man who stole a $2 million yacht from a Sausalito marina  and ran it aground in Pacifica was expected to leave San Mateo County Jail for the first time since his arrest in March.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mallach said on Thursday that in light of Leslie Alan Gardner's mental health issues, a  sentence of five years probation and one year in the county jail was appropriate, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. As part of his sentence, Gardner, 63, must  remain in California and pay $1.38 million in restitution.

With credit for time served, Wagstaffe said that  Gardner would be released just as soon as the county is done with processing, meaning Thursday afternoon.

MORE: 3 arrested after stolen Sausalito boat runs aground

Gardner and a couple from Aptos allegedly stole the 82-foot long  vessel, named "Darling" from the Sausalito Yacht Harbor on March 4.  Prosecutors said the trio partied, drinking beer and eating pizza aboard the  boat as they cruised around the Bay and subsequently into the ocean.

MORE: DA Charges Suspected Yacht Thief

Around 6 a.m. Pacifica police were called out to the Linda Mar  Beach, where the boat had run aground in shallow water. The vessel was freed  and towed to Richmond for repairs.

On Sept. 11, Gardner pleaded no contest to grand theft, receiving  stolen property in excess of $3.2 million and vandalism.

The couple, who were dating at the time, were never charged in the  incident.
 


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