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Largo man stole a $900,000 boat but left it after hitting pilings, deputies say

Deputies said the thief hit four channel-marker pilings then abandoned the boat, leaving it to drift into an oyster bed.

A Pinellas County man has been arrested on a charge that he stole a $900,000 boat then ran it into four channel-marker pilings, arrest reports say.

Donnovan Russell Jester, 28, of Largo, was arrested on a charge of grand theft of a vessel on Thursday.

The theft occurred about 2:15 a.m. March 20. Pinellas deputies said someone stole a 46-foot 2019 Jeanneau Leader with a value of $899,179 from Thunder Marine in the 8700 block of Bay Pines Boulevard.

Deputies said the thief hit four channel-marker pilings then abandoned the boat, leaving it to drift into an oyster bed.

The boat had about $60,000 in damage.

Deputies found a left thumbprint on the cabin door that was matched to Jester, arrest reports said. He at first denied being on the boat, but after he was taken into custody he admitted he was, reports said.

Jester was being held Monday at the Pinellas County jail on $50,000 bail.

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