SEATTLE — Bail was set at $200,000 Monday for a 32-year-old man arrested for allegedly trying to steal a Victoria Clipper ferry from the Seattle waterfront on Sunday.
The suspect is accused of illegally boarding the boat and taking it out into Elliott Bay. He was arrested by Seattle police and booked into the King County Jail on investigation of burglary, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief and an outstanding warrant for failure to register as a sex offender.
Victoria Clipper CEO Darrell Bryan was the first to spot the boat out in Elliott Bay at about 6 a.m. Sunday.
“Saw the Clipper IV about a 100 feet off the dock in a southerly direction we didn’t have it scheduled to sail today,” Bryan said.
Bryan was the first to spot the boat drifting away from Seattle around 6 a.m.
Someone was joyriding on an $8 million boat.
“All of our captains were accounted for and someone had taken the boat we contacted the Coast Guard,” Bryan said.
The man hopped over the fence, un-moored the giant vessel and somehow got it to start.
“Kind of scary just that someone could do that, jump onto a boat and get it to work without having experience in it,” Hannah Sorensen said.
An army of officers, even a bomb squad made it out to sea to rescue the boat. A tug helped guide it back to safety.
“In 28 years we’ve never had anything like this happen,” Bryan said.
The thief didn’t say much as he was being taken away by police but authorities say the man wanted to get to West Seattle.
“Hop on a bus maybe, a cab if you are feeling splurge worthy but don’t think the Clipper is the best idea,” King County resident Julie Werner said.
The company is reviewing surveillance footage to see how the man pulled it off.