Deputies returned stolen boat equipment less than one hour after it was reported missing.
Shortly before 10:45 a.m. Sunday, June 18, a deputy on patrol spotted a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle in Shambeau Park in Waupaca.
Waupaca police have reported problems with vehicles doing burnouts on the gravel road in the park, causing the city to make repairs.
As the deputy pulled into the park, the two vehicles drove away.
The deputy reported that the truck had fresh mud on the wheel wells and a defective brake light, so he made a traffic stop.
Waupaca police officers arrived to assist.
The officers saw a Minn Kota trolling motor, a boat battery box and a battery in the back of the truck. The power cables on the battery box were torn.
The driver, a 19-year-old Manawa man, said he was going fishing, but he did not have fishing poles in his truck at the time.
Officers verified that the trolling motor had not been reported stolen at that time. However, they noted the description of the motor in case it was later reported stolen.
At 2:35 p.m. Sunday, a resident of County Trunk N in the town of Little Wolf reported to the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office that his Minn Kota trolling motor, battery and battery box had been stolen from his boat that had been on the shore of the Manawa Mill Pond in front of his house.
Deputies made contact with the 19-year-old Manawa man.
According to Waupaca County Sheriff Brad Hardel, the man initially claimed he purchased the motor from a person on Facebook.
He later admitted to canoeing on the mill pond and stealing the items from a boat along the shore.
The Manawa man was taken into custody and is being referred to the district attorney’s office for charges of theft and trespassing.