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Friday, September 7, 2012

Cops Say They Have Spotted Stolen Yacht With Kidnapped Kids

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM

This morning, officials spotted a yacht they believe was stolen by a man who allegedly kidnapped his two toddlers. The 40-foot boat was located about 50 miles off the coast near Pillar Point in San Mateo County, investigators told media outlets.

Police and Coast Guard vessels have been dispatched to intercept the yacht while a helicopter keeps an eye on the boat, a Coast Guard official said.

Police believe that Christopher Maffei, 43, snatched his daughter, 3, and son, 2, on Sept. 4 at around 3 p.m. from their South San Francisco home where they live with their mother, Jennifer Hipon. From there, he allegedly fled to Alameda and hopped onto a yacht that doesn't belong to him.

Maffei is Hipon's former boyfriend, and authorities say they are unsure who legally has custody of the youngsters. Though, she told the press that she was in the process of getting a restraining order against Maffei when he allegedly kidnapped the kids.

A boater saw the vessel in question at about 4 a.m. Friday and recognized the yacht from a fresh police description, South San Francisco police Sgt. Bruce McPhillips said. He also saw a small kid on the boat.

He cruised over to the yacht, talked to Maffei, and then called the Coast Guard, McPhillips said.

We will keep you posted on this breaking story.

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Suzanne Stathatos


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