DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Beach goers were baffled when they saw a large, 36-foot boat crash onto the Daytona Beach shore. There was no driver of the boat on board.
For awhile police and beach patrol officers were worried maybe the driver had fallen over ,but it turns out, it was no accident. It didn't take police long to find a suspected boat bandit, 20-year-old Jonathan Race.
"He abandoned ship at some point and left his shorts with his ID on the boat, so police were able to track him down," explained Daytona Beach Police spokesperson Lyda Longa.
Police say Race admitted he had a couple Four Loco's alcoholic drinks, then walked over to the Daytona Marina and Boat Works, rummaged through a few boats before taking the Ethel Jeanne out for a ride. A worker at the marina called 911 after walking into a big mess.
"There's debris all around this boat, like someone was rummaging through it," said a 911 caller.
Police called back to tell them they had a bigger problem -- the Ethel Jeanne was beached miles away. Police said Race ditched the boat on the sand, jumped off the boat and passed out. When he woke up, officers said he staggered to a friend's house, where they tracked him down.
"He was very fortunate that he didn't get hurt when he jumped off the boat or that he didn't hurt people on the beach on the sand or people swimming or other boaters," said Longa.
Race was jailed on a $100,000 bond.