Video of Boat Theft & Police Resolution in Newport Harbor

Last Sunday, the day before Christmas Eve, at about 3:45pm, NBPD and OCSD responded to a call about a boat theft in Newport Beach.  The 70-foot “Gambler” out of Dana Point was in town off Fernando Street at Edgewater Ave on Balboa Peninsula to watch the Boat Parade, and some guy who was apparently under the heavy influence of hard drugs found a way to get on board by smashing the back window, and spent hours barricading himself into the cabin, tying things like tables and chairs together with fishing line, before managing to light the kitchen on fire.  What drew everyone’s attention, though, is when he didn’t untie from the dock before taking off.  Yes, you read that correctly.  He ripped the dock apart and one of the lines sadly did manage to wrap itself up under the motor.

As he drifted towards the 2300 block of the peninsula in the bay, the boat collided with several other boats before bouncing back to the 19th Street area.

At Woody’s, Justin Aveni and his friends watched as something “definitely wrong” happened, and the massive boat came within 10 feet of completely eviscerating a Duffy with people on it.  Police were not sure how to proceed– Aveni, being a health and wellness coach and in extraordinary physical condition, offered to jump aboard the boat himself, as captured in the first video.  Finally, the owner showed up and told them that this was his boat being stolen, and the police take action, boarding the boat and breaching the cabin.

Here is the first video:

And here is the second:


The suspect arrested for the damages and theft was the boat’s sole occupant, Theodore Liko Wilson, 24, of Costa Mesa.  He was arrested for DUI, alcohol, drugs, obstructing/resisting a peace officer, committing grand theft of a boat, vanalism, and taking a boat without owner consent.  Bail was set at $20,000.

For video copyright usage (or to get yourself in boat-hero condition), you can contact the person who owns the rights to this video, health and wellness coach Justin Aveni, at or at (626) 862-9509.



About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at