California seaman sucks sheriffs into yacht scheme

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Updated: 7/06/2014 5:59 pm

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California seaman went from pirate to respectable yacht captain back to pirate again before ending up in jail.

The Orange County Register reports Friday that 32-year-old Richard Rodriguez managed to trick the Sheriff's Department into helping him steal a $3 million yacht called the Stimulus.

Newport Beach police say Rodriguez broke into the 78-foot Stimulus last week, found keys inside and headed to sea, but got stuck between docks. He radioed for help and sheriff's boats arrived to free him.

A sheriff's spokesman says Rodriguez looked like he knew the boat and raised no suspicion.

The next day authorities learned the yacht was stolen and Rodriguez was spotted near Long Beach Harbor, where he attempted to ram a police boat before he was caught.

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