VIROQUA, Wis. -- The former La Farge police chief faces charges for allegedly stealing a fishing boat.

Al Walker is accused of stealing the 14-foot flat-bottom fishing boat and motor Wednesday from a storage facility in Stoddard.

The Vernon County Sheriff's Department says a witness saw someone remove a boat late Sunday afternoon, and then return Wednesday. The witness followed the vehicle, wrote down the license plate number and reported it to deputies.

Investigators went to Walker's home in Viroqua and found the missing boat and motor. The boat had been stripped, including the registration numbers, and was prepped for a fresh coat of paint.

Walker appeared in court Thursday on one felony count of theft. He was released on a $1,000 signature bond.

Walker was police chief in La Farge from February 1989 to his retirement in April 2009.