Man allegedly stole California family’s sailboat before getting it stuck under bridge

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Posted at 11:23 AM, May 12, 2021

A man who allegedly stole a large sailboat in Sacramento, California, didn’t get very far.

Authorities say the suspect, Anthony Abernathy, boosted the boat on the Sacramento River, but he couldn’t navigate under the city’s Tower Bridge, a vertical lift bridge.

The owner of the boat, Jack Holsey, told KOVR that family friends saw the suspect trying to untie the vessel from the dock, but before they could tie the boat back up, it set sail.

A witness, Ian Kelley, told KOVR that he saw the whole thing happen from his jet ski.

“I was just thinking, 'this isn’t right, this thing up against our iconic bridge. Something has to be done,'” Kelley told the news station.

The boat ended up getting stuck under the bridge and Abernathy was apprehended by law enforcement on theft-related charges.

The Sacramento Police Department told KOVR that there was actually another report filed about Abernathy and the boat a week before. However, officers say there wasn’t enough evidence to show a crime was committed at that time.

The boat’s owner says his son had been working on the boat after being paralyzed in a car crash several months ago. The family planned to use it or sell it to make some money on it someday.

“We never ever planned in 100 years that this would ever come to pass,” Holsey told KOVR.