50-Year-Old British Painter Steals Luxury Motorboat After 3-Month Scamming Spree

A British painter and successful designer, Larissa Walker, has been arrested in Portofino, after trying to steal a luxury motorboat. Her arrest ended a 3-month scamming spree, which included overnights at expensive hotels and spa treatments that she tried to avoid paying for.
British artist Larissa Walker has been arrested for trying to steal a luxury motorboat 6 photos
Photo: Facebook / Larissa Walker
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Judging by Watson’s posts on social media, she was living the high life in Europe, first in Paris and then in Italy and the Italian Riviera. She even used a hashtag that referenced a new beginning: #learningtoliveagain.

Born and raised in the UK, she had a successful career and a loving family with 3 children. Earlier this year, she left it all behind and embarked on a journey that would see her become what the British tabloids are calling “the Portofino pirate.” That’s a stretch obviously, but the change was so dramatic as to make authorities think that she may be dealing with mental issues.

Her latest feat would certainly indicate that. According to authorities, she jumped onto the unattended motorboat and used the keys in the ignition to try and make her way out of the harbor. A port worker noticed that she wasn’t the owner of the €150,000 boat, jumped into it and stopped her from leaving.

“She was brought back to the quay where police were waiting. Initially she refused to get off but soon surrendered,” Captain Simone Clemente, of the carabinieri, tells The Times. “We googled her and thought she was carrying out some kind of artistic experiment. We then learned her family had reported her missing in May. After her arrest she told the British embassy she did not want to go home and we suspect she has had some kind of psychiatric problem. Now we hope her family and friends will come to Italy. We can solve crimes but there is also the human element.”

Still, Walker will have to answer in court for her crimes, and including her attempt to steal the luxury boat and the many times she tried to leave before paying for the services received. She pretended to be a guest at the La Spezia hotel to get a key and fled when she was found sleeping next day, she stayed at another hotel in Reggio Calabria without paying, she dined and dashed in restaurants on the French border, and she ordered an expensive spa treatment in Santa Margherita Ligure and tried to flee without footing the bill.

At the time of her arrest, Walker had no money, no clothes and no ID on her, police say. She appeared to have been living on the streets.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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