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Malden man accused of stealing 68-foot ferry boat

A Malden man was released on personal recognizance Wednesday 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.

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

LeClair was deemed competent after the evaluation. When the arraignment was continued Wednesday, the judge released LeClair, who had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf, but ordered him to avoid the waterfront and not to board any watercraft while his case is pending. He is due back in court 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 ferry Fort Independence, which was tied to the docks near 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 said 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.

No damage was reported to the ferry, Wark said.

Globe correspondent Nicholas Jacques contributed to this report. Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@
or on Twitter @Melissa_Hanson.
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