Illinois Man Sentenced for Role in ATV Thefts

Illinois authorities have sentenced a man to probation and restitution after he pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges of stealing ATVs and taking them to sell in Illinois, according to published reports.

Michael Cleland, 27, of Earlville, Ill., pleaded no contest to two felony counts of theft of property worth more than $5,000, the Portage (Wis.) Daily Register reported. Three additional felony theft charges and one misdemeanor theft charge were dismissed.

Judge Richard O. Wright sentenced Cleland to four years of probation for each count, to be served concurrently, and ordered Cleland to pay $45,637.90 in restitution.

The Register quoted the criminal complaint as saying Cleland and Danny Helton, 44, of Earlville, Ill., took five ATVs from Bignell Power Sports in September and October.

Helton pleaded not guilty March 5 to six felony counts of theft of property worth $5,000 to $10,000 in the case. A trial date is not scheduled, the paper reported.

Albert Helton, 32, of Montello, Danny's brother, faces a felony charge of theft of property of more than $5,000 as well as a misdemeanor charge of theft of property less than $2,500. He will be arraigned May 22.