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Man with stolen 39-foot sailboat arrested in Lighthouse Point - Sun Sentinel
Man with stolen 39-foot sailboat arrested in Lighthouse Point, cops say
Keith Richard Wheeler, 41, accused of stealing a sailboat, had his bond set at $15,000 at a Broward Court appearance Tuesday. (Sun Sentinel)
By Tonya Alanez
A man with numerous aliases, a lengthy criminal record
and no permanent address was arrested in Lighthouse Point on Monday while carrying a case of water and a backpack to a stolen sailboat, according to a police report.
Keith Richard Wheeler, 41, allegedly stole the boat, a 1972 39-foot Ericson
valued at $75,000, from Palm Beach County
Keith Richard Wheeler, 41, is accused of stealing a 39-foot sailboat from Palm Beach County. (Broward Sheriff's Office/courtesy)
A day after reporting the boat stolen to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, owner Roger Rogers, of Greenacres, alerted authorities that a boat matching the description of his vessel might be docked behind a Lighthouse Point home.
When police arrived at the home in the 2700 block of Northeast 24th Street, it was vacant and under construction with a sailboat named Tethys tethered to the dock
. Its tag matched the tag of the boat Rogers had reported as stolen, the report said.
Wheeler showed up carrying a case of water and a large backpack, pointed and said he was going "to my boat," the report said.
"I know I should not have docked at someone's house, but I ran out of water and I was just leaving," Wheeler told an officer.
Wheeler went on to explain that "someone gave him the boat and he was going to sell it like he has done to other boats over the years," the report said.
When Wheeler was placed under arrest at 10:50 p.m., he said "he would rather not discuss the situation," according to the report.
Charged with grand theft, Wheeler is being held in the Broward Main Jail.
In setting Wheeler's bond at $15,000 Tuesday, Broward County
Judge John "Jay" Hurley noted his multiple aliases — Aaron Johnson, Matthew Johnson and Samuel Britton — and numerous arrests for charges including cocaine possession, battery
and grand theft auto.
Wheeler was released from a Florida
state prison in September 2014 after serving four months for cocaine possession and battery
on a law enforcement officer.
Records show he has had three other brief stints in Florida
According to the police report, Rogers got his sailboat back.