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Sheboygan man accused of stealing yacht pleads no contest, given 3 years probation

Matthew Wilson

SHEBOYGAN — A Sheboygan man accused of stealing a sailboat from the Sheboygan Yacht Club pleaded no contest on Monday, Sept. 23. The accused was Matthew Wilson.

The judge on Monday then sentenced Wilson to 120 days in jail — and stayed the sentence. Wilson then received three years probation. If that probation is revoked or violated, a civil judgment will be entered against Wilson. As part of his probation, Wilson is not to consume alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or possess drug paraphernalia. He also cannot be on the premises of any tavern.

According to the criminal complaint, on Saturday, June 15, Sheboygan police officers were called to the Coast Guard station in regards to the theft of a 40-foot sailboat. The yacht was valued at between $400,000 and $450,000. The Coast Guard located the boat and detained the only person on board — Wilson. The sailboat was ultimately towed back to the Coast Guard station.

Lake Michigan in Sheboygan

The complaint indicates the Coast Guard knew where to look for the sailboat because someone on shore alerted them that “there had been a sailboat just floating down by the power plant.” Also, the owner of the boat noticed it was missing and “was eventually able to located it because of an iPad on the boat.”

When police spoke with the owner of the boat, she indicated it had been docked at the Yacht Club — and she last saw the boat around 8 p.m. on Friday, June 14. She said “the boat’s cabin had not been locked.”

When Wilson was questioned by police, the complaint says he “had been kicked out of The Salvation Army for getting into an argument.” Wilson said he “walked to the Yacht Club, boarded a boat, and proceeded to fall asleep. He stated that he slept on the boat for some of the night, left to get breakfast at the Salvation Army…and then returned to the boat.” Wilson apparently said “he fell asleep and was later awoken by the Coast Guard.” The complaint says Wilson “admitted to entering the boat, finding keys for it, starting it and driving it to its final destination. He ended his statements by saying that he went under to roll a cigarette and the next thing he knew the boat ran ashore.” Wilson told law enforcement at one point, “It was a beautiful ride, it was a beautiful ride at least.”

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