Police Officer Held in Theft of Yachts


San Francisco Bay Area authorities have accused a Los Angeles police officer of participating in a stolen yacht ring. William Leasure, 39, a 16-year LAPD veteran assigned to the Central Traffic Division, was arrested Thursday, said LAPD spokesman Cmdr. William Booth.

The Oakland Tribune reported that Bay Area police arrested Leasure and two others at a dockside in Richmond where they were allegedly trying to deliver a 41-foot power yacht to a buyer. The buyer became suspicious and told police. The boat had reportedly been stolen in San Diego.

Leasure and the other two--identified as Robert D. Kuns, 40, hometown unknown, and Eugene Yancoski, 38, of Newport Beach-- were held in lieu of $1 million bail each at the Oakland jail, police said.

Investigators said they believe that the ring is responsible for a number of yacht thefts on the West Coast.