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Sparta man hired to repair boat instead steals it, police say

Sparta man hired to repair boat instead steals it, police say

police lights file

A criminal complaint has been filed against a 27-year-old Sparta man accused of stealing a boat/trailer rig he had been paid to repair. Jacob N. Stanles faces a felony charge of theft.

According to the complaint, a La Crosse man told police he paid Stanles $200 to fix the lights on a boat trailer parked at a Sill Street residence in La Crosse. Stanles arrived at the residence Oct. 21 and told the man the repairs would be completed by the end of the evening.

The man told police he left for work at 4 p.m., and a woman at the residence left to run errands a short time later, leaving Stanles alone with the boat parked in the street. When the woman returned, the boat, trailer and accessories valued at $6,200 were gone.

The woman told police she called Stanles, who told her there was too much traffic and that he needed to take the boat to his residence. When the boat wasn’t returned several hours later, the woman attempted to call Stanles multiple times without success.

Stanles had not been located by police as of Nov. 16. He has an initial appearance in La Crosse County Circuit Court set for Dec. 29.

La Crosse Tribune reporter Steve Rundio can be reached at

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