Published On: Thu, May 12th, 2022

Woman in Texas allegedly steals 52-foot yacht and takes it for a ride, police say

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

The Jefferson Monticello yacht, dubbed “Loyalty,” was reported missing on 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 Thursday afternoon on $30,000 bond, 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, although it did not specify who the note was directed to or where it was left.

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

The Galveston Police Department received a phone call shortly before noon Monday the yacht had been sailed away from its berth, the affidavit said.

Police requested assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Galveston County Sheriff’s office to help locate the missing vessel, NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston reported.

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

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

Galveston newspaper The Daily News reported that the yacht’s owners, Lorraine Grubbs and her husband, live on the vessel that 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 the suspect 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 was found on the north side of Offatts Bayou and was not damaged.

This isn’t the only incident involving a stolen luxury vessel to make headlines recently.

In March, an alleged 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 he allegedly rammed the craft into at least three other boats.

Donna Mendell contributed.

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