Accused Newport Harbor yacht thief is declared a fugitive after failing to appear at court hearing

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Thursday, June 30, 2022
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A man accused of stealing a 60-foot-yacht and slamming it into other boats in Newport Harbor has been declared a fugitive and is on the run.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A man accused of stealing a 60-foot-yacht and slamming it into other boats in Newport Harbor has been identified as a fugitive and is on the run, officials said.

The chaotic incident was captured on video on March 10, after 38-year-old Joel Siam allegedly took the yacht while it was being serviced.

Because it was being serviced, the keys were left on board. It was stolen when the person repairing it had stepped away, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Siam, who listed his occupation as a "CEO" in jail records, allegedly crashed the yacht into multiple other boats, damaging at least two while joyriding around the harbor before it eventually slammed into the sea wall next to the Lido Island Bridge, a sheriff's spokesperson said.

A judge on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for Siam, a San Diego resident, after he failed to appear for a pretrial hearing in Orange County Superior Court.

Wild video shows man allegedly stealing and crashing yacht into boats in Newport Beach

Siam was charged with eight counts of vandalism and single counts each of grand theft, buying or receiving a stolen vehicle and battery with serious bodily injury, all felonies. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count of vandalism and faces a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury on a victim.