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Unleashed Theft/Abduction Has Happy Ending


  • Unleashed Theft/Abduction Has Happy Ending

    We 1st reported the theft of the Hunter 41, "Unleashed" from it's Ballena Bay HQ Wednesday Morning.
    Things got stranger on Thursday when we heard repeated radio broadcasts via VHF 16 from the USCG asking all to keep
    a look out for said vessel which might have been used as the getaway vehicle in a child abduction case. They instructed
    any sighting to be reported immediately to 911 and NOT to approach the vessel.

    It was confirmed that the rental car of the suspect was left abandoned at the Club Nautique headquarters
    at Ballena Bay, and that the primary suspect, Christopher Maffei had taken his two child from the maternal
    mothers home, while she was at court filing for a restraining order. Sighted up on Mare Island on Wednesday,
    the boat slipped out the Gate sometime shortly thereafter.

    Apparently, Mr. Maffei had warned the family prior that he might steal a sailboat and take the children with him,
    and have had visited the Club Nautique a couple week earlier pretending to be a buyer, learned the basics of the boat
    and how to start vessel without gaining access to the inside.

    It was obviously not a well thought out plan, as the boat has no auto pilot and limited fuel range. With very limited sailing
    experience, Mr Maffei began to run low on fuel after motor sailing for 2 days, with 2 small children ages 3 and 2 onboard,
    mostly likely seasick, and not well fed or clothed. Coming to the realization they needed more fuel, Maffei approached a fishing trawler with hope of buoy fuel, 50 miles from shore. The captain of said trawler recognized from the USCG dispatches
    and inform Maffei to return to shore to get more fuel then notified authorities.

    The vessel was then taken in by visual observation by USCG aircraft which noted his position as he made progress towards
    shore, and last night, USCG Station Monterey intercepted " Unleashed" and boarded the vessel without incident and returned
    the children to the awaiting arms of their mother. Mr Maffei received a slightly different reception at the docks, the outstretched "Long Arm of the Law" as South San Francisco Police provided him with a comfy ride back to their awaiting jail cell.

    As for the vessel "Unleashed", she is currently impounded as evidence and will probably be out of service for a while. But that is a small inconvenience all things considered, and we are very happy this incident ended in a peaceful manner with the children safe and sound.

    Weigh in with your opinion!

    Full Story via SF Chronicle

    This 41' Hunter was taken from Club Nautique in Alameda last evening around 8:00 PM.

    Culprits took the dock lines and electrical cords as well. Has dark blue dodger and as you can see, blue trim on luff and leech of jib and a dark blue triangle on main foot/leech. Boats name is "Unleashed". If you see boat, please contact Club Nautique at 510.865.4700 the Alameda PD @ (510) 337-8340 or USCG.
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