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Wednesday September 19, 2018

strange missing boat caper

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 14:34 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A man is charged with stealing two boats from their private slips in New Buffalo.

One of the boats was actually towed down the Galien River and deposited on the beach where it was recovered, police said.

John Gregule, 49, of Stevensville was booked into the Berrien County Jail on two counts of larceny and two counts of destruction to public and private property.

New Buffalo Police Chief Rich Killips said officers September 7th located a 24 foot cabin cruiser in the river after receiving a call about a boat adrift near the municipal launch.

Killips said an attempt was made to break into the cabin and ropes fastening the boat to its slip along Marquette Road were cut.

A short time later, a small fishing boat missing from its private slip nearby was discovered at the city's beach.

Gregule allegedly towed the small vessel down the Galien River and along the shoreline in his Jon boat then left on foot.

He later returned but not until police already had both of the abandoned watercraft towed.

It didn't take long, though, to put the pieces of the puzzle together once Gregule after walking up to officers on Whittaker St. reported his Jon boat stolen.

''He kind of turned himself in. It was a very strange day,'' Killips said.

Killips said total damage to the boat he tried breaking into and other property was less than $1,000.
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