Divers search Bay waters for cars and boats discarded by Richmond ‘pirates’

Divers search Bay waters for cars and boats discarded by Richmond 'pirates'

Authorities searched the Bay waters Thursday for the remainders of stolen cars and boats that may have been discarded by ‘pirates’ who had built an encampment and chop shop at Castro Point in Richmond, according to this KTVU (Ch. 2) exclusive.

In December, we reported about a wild arrest by Richmond police that could inspire a scene in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. That month, sea-faring burglars robbed an occupied research vessel anchored near Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor early in the morning.

The suspects fled on a getaway boat, but a victim’s description of that boat led police to an encampment and “major chop shop” operation at Castro Point, just north of the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge.

diveteams.3-26Authorities arrested three suspects, are searching for a fourth and recovered 21 vehicles from the chop shop, but believe more missing cars are in the Bay. In its exclusive story, KTVU joined U.S. Coast Guard divers as they searched the Bay waters for discarded autos.

“Investigators believe the defendants used a moving barge to dump the remaining vehicle parts,” KTVU said.

The defendants “consider themselves pirates,” a Contra Costa County deputy district attorney told the news station.

They chop up cars worth thousands of dollars for parts worth “a couple hundred bucks of easy cash,” the prosecutor said.

Divers did not recover any vehicles in the murky waters Thursday and may resort to getting one of the defendants to come and point out where the locations of the dumped cars, KTVU said.