Malden man is charged with stealing 68-foot ferry boat on Boston Harbor on Christmas Day

A Malden man was released on personal recognizance today after being charged with stealing a 68-foot commercial ferry boat in Boston Harbor on Christmas Day, prosecutors said.

Samuel LeClair, 62, was arrested Tuesday on charges of larceny over $250 and breaking and entering during the daytime with intent to commit a felony, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said.

LeClair was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday, where a prosecutor requested that he be held on $1,500 bail and ordered to stay away from Boston Harbor, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Conley, in a statement. But Judge Thomas C. Horgan wanted LeClair evaluated by a court clinician before he decided on bail.

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LeClair was deemed competent after the evaluation. When the arraignment was continued today, the judge released LeClair but ordered him to avoid the waterfront and not to board any watercraft while his case is pending. He is due back in court on Sept. 18, Wark said.

On Dec. 25, just before noon, marine units from various agencies responded to a call that a vessel was loose in Boston Harbor, Wark said.

LeClair was found on the passenger ferry Fort Independence, which was tied to the docks by the federal courthouse. He allegedly told police that he had untied the vessel at Long Wharf, Wark said. Long Wharf is a short distance from the courthouse across the harbor.

LeClair claimed that his girlfriend, whose name was “Stevie Nicks,” was on board. But LeClair was found alone, Wark said.

Boston police brought LeClair ashore, and he was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was evaluated and eventually released, Wark said.

Police obtained a complaint against LeClair and a warrant for his arrest, the statement said. The statement did not say why so many months elapsed between the incident and the arrest.

No damage was reported to the ferry, Wark said.

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