A 56-year-old man was busted for stealing a yacht valued at $1.2 million and said he was taking it on a “joyride.”
The Jeanneau Prestige 500 named “Volans” was stolen by Robert Morris from the Rouses Point Marina in New York early Monday morning, according to the New York Post.
Morris managed to drive the boat from upstate New York to his home state of Vermont before being spotted by U.S. Border Patrol via helicopter on Lake Champlain.
The joyride was put to an end when Morris was arrested by St. Albans Police Department officers on Burton Island. He faces charges for possession of stolen property and operating without the owner’s consent, NBC5 reported.
At his court arraignment Wednesday, Morris was chatty and claimed he was “water testing the boat after making mechanical fixes,” WCAX reported.
The man also told cops he was granted permission to drive the boat, and was returning it to the boat’s owner Ron McCarthy in Montreal when he was caught. McCarthy denies allowing Morris to drive his yacht, WCAX reported. (RELATED: REPORT: Jeff Bezos Is Building A $500 Million Yacht)
Vermont Deputy State’s Attorney Deb Celis requested a $25,000 bond, calling Morris a flight risk, WCAX reported.
“He has little to no contacts with the state of Vermont,” Celis said. “He advised police that he was homeless and had not been in the area for 20 years.”
Morris’ defense attorney also asked for a competency exam to be completed, after the accused made an “inappropriate gesture” towards a court camera as he was leaving the hearing.
— Channel 3 News (@wcax) June 24, 2021
Morris has run into trouble with the law before and was a wanted fugitive in New Hampshire. He also had a list of prior arrests, WCAX reported.
Investigation into the theft is ongoing and New York State Police plan to pursue additional charges.