NEWPORT BEACH — The tale of an alleged yacht theft attempt in Newport Beach has a sense of déjà vu.
Richard Marco Rodriguez, 35, of Whittier, was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 19, on suspicion of stealing a $3 million yacht – the same vessel he stole in 2014, according to authorities.
Rodriguez was spotted on the 78-foot Stimulus at about 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday. The yacht was in its docking space in the 200 block of South Bay Front on Balboa Island when Rodriguez managed to get inside, Newport Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said.
“His story is that he found it unlocked,” Manzella said. “We were able to speak to the captain of the boat and the owner, and they said there was no reason for him to be there.”
Investigators found no apparent signs of forced entry. Craig Brewer, the yacht’s skipper, said it’s not hard to get inside the vessel.
Workers on the dock spotted Rodriguez and called the yacht’s owner, who in turn called Brewer and asked him to check on the vessel.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Brewer said Wednesday. “I knew he was in jail, but there he was.”
In the 2014 theft, Rodriguez managed to get inadvertent help from the Orange County Harbor Patrol.
The yacht had became stuck between two docks and began drifting toward a seawall after, officials said, Rodriguez broke in and found a set of keys to start it. Thinking the man was authorized to be on the vessel, the patrol helped pull it to the mouth of the harbor … and off Rodriguez went with his stolen bounty.
When the Stimulus was reported stolen the next day, Newport Beach police put out…