Authorities claim that a boat thief stole a yacht in Southern California on Thursday. Then, authorities say, he collided with several other boats in the harbor.
Joel Siam, 38 was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen boats. He was being held on $3,000,000 bail, Orange County jail records show on Friday.
Thursday's dispatchers were initially notified by Newport Beach police at 9:21 a.m. (PST) about vandalism near the docks near 1200 W. Coast Highway. Then, Heather Rangel, a Newport Beach police spokesperson, reported that another call was received reporting a stolen boat a quarter-mile away.
Rangel stated that it was established that the suspect was the exact same person for each incident. Rangel stated that the suspect took the boat and then fled the bay after colliding with several boats.
According to police, the suspect, , was taken into custody by the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol.
The luxury vessel was first operated by Siam in 2005. Dylan Eckardt, a real estate broker, noticed it and set up his office on the docks.
Eckardt said to NBC News that Friday's incident was "crazy". "I was talking on the phone, and I heard the boat return out. I began videoing the moment the boat came back out."
Eckardt, who was born on Long Island's far east end, originally believed that there was a problem with the yacht's mechanical system.
"I grew-up in Montauk and I know a lot more about boats. I was like, "What the heck was going on?" He said. "Then, I saw the guy on top taking off his shirt and I realized there was something wrong.
According to jail records, Siam will appear in court Monday. A spokeswoman for Orange County DA stated that it wasn't immediately clear if Siam had retained an attorney.
Rangel, Newport Beach's police spokesperson, declined to comment further on Friday's incident. It was not immediately clear what motive the suspect might have had or if he knew who the owner of the yacht stolen from.