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Date : May 17, 2022

Woman in Texas accused of stealing 52-foot yacht, taking it for a ride, police say

It is anything but smooth sailing for a woman in Texas who was charged with taking a 52-foot yacht that did not belong to her for a cruise.

The Jefferson Monticello yacht, dubbed Loyalty, was reported missing Monday in Galveston.

Renee Waguespack, 45, is charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance, according to a probable cause affidavit for her arrest.

Waguespack remained jailed in Galveston County on $30,000 bond Thursday afternoon, online records said.

The owner of the boat had been showing it to sell, the affidavit said. Witnesses reported the yacht was sailed away at about 11 a.m.

Waguespack left a note that she would meet people at the Kemah Boardwalk, the affidavit said. It did not specify whom the note was directed to or where it was left.

Jennifer Ott Roth, Waguespack’s attorney, declined to comment.

Galveston police got a phone call shortly before noon Monday that the yacht had been sailed away from its berth, the affidavit said.

Police requested assistance from the Coast Guard and the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office to help locate the missing vessel.

Loyalty was found at about 1 p.m. moored at a pier. Authorities found Waguespack aboard the ship, the station reported.

Police later found about 4 grams of drugs in her possession that tested positive as methamphetamine, the affidavit said.

The Galveston newspaper The Daily News reported that the yacht’s owners, Lorraine Grubbs and her husband, live on the vessel, which was docked in Offatts Bayou.

“Can you imagine coming around the corner and your home is gone?” Grubbs told the newspaper.

Grubbs didn’t know Waguespack. Security video captured someone climbing over a fence and boarding the yacht without anyone seeing her, The Daily News reported.

Grubbs told the newspaper she believes Waguespack once lived on a different boat berthed at the same location and was confused. Loyalty, which was found on the north side of Offatts Bayou, was not damaged.

It is not the only incident involving a stolen luxury vessel to have made headlines recently.

In March, a thief stole a yacht in Southern California and then collided with multiple boats in a harbor. Joel Siam, 38, was booked on suspicion of grand theft of a boat and possession of a stolen boat in Orange County after, authorities said, he rammed the craft into at least three other boats.