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December 2, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Bail set at $200,000 for man accused of stealing Victoria Clipper

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Samuel McDonough made his first court appearance Monday at the King County Jail. (Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times)

Bail was set Monday at $200,000 for a convicted sex offender accused of stealing the Victoria Clipper from the Seattle waterfront on Sunday.

Samuel K. McDonough, 33, told police that he was just trying to get to West Seattle when he entered the secured area where Victoria Clipper docks its vessels, boarded the Clipper IV and managed to get the boat turned on, according to police and King County prosecutors.

Prosecutors had asked for $500,000 bail for the Preston man who has convictions for drug offenses, burglaries and indecent exposure, including a felony that stemmed from a 2012 incident in which he was arrested for masturbating in front of two female baristas at an Issaquah coffee stand.

When he was arrested on Sunday, he was wanted on a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender, according to police.
McDonough is being held in the King County Jail on investigation of burglary, reckless endangerment and malicious mischief in connection with the alleged theft of the vessel.

According to police, he was arrested without incident about 7 hours after he left the Seattle pier by members of a SWAT team sent in after discussions between McDonough and a hostage negotiator faltered.

Darrell Bryan, the chief executive officer of Victoria Clipper, said McDonough had entered the secured area by climbing through a small hole at the top of the fence.

Since then, he said, the company has strung razor wire over the vulnerable area and is talking with the Coast Guard and a maritime consultant about adding additional security measures.

Bryan also said the incident has given the company a chance to review existing policies and practices.

For example, the company had known about the hole in the fence but thought it was too small to pose a reasonable threat. In addition, the wheelhouse of the stolen vessel had not been locked, the company determined.

“Had it been locked, this would have been a non-story,” Bryan said.

0 Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: King County Prosecuting Attorney Office, Victoria Clipper

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