Arrest made in Conception theft

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Posted by on March 25, 2005 at 00:10:05:

Investigators have arrested a transient for stealing a million-dollar boat from the Santa Barbara Harbor.

The "Conception" disappeared from the Santa Barbara Harbor early Wednesday morning, and was found about 12 hours later on the rocks near Vandenberg Air Force Base. Police detectives say 41-year old Donald Kelley started up the "Conception" and hit three other boats on his way out of the harbor, including the "Slick Chick," which sunk.

After taking a look at the "Conception," Sea Landing manager Chris Callahan says the 75-foot dive boat may be back in the harbor soon.

"It looks like the damage to the "Conception" is not so extensive that we will write it off as a loss," says Callahan. "A salvage company is involved trying to get it off the beach, so we will know within the next few days whether it is possible."

Police say Kelley was found about a quarter-mile from the beached boat, and was carrying food items stolen from the galley of the "Conception." Donald Kelley, a drifter who recently moved to Santa Barbara, has been charged with grand theft.

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