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Disabled Missouri Angler Loses Livelihood When Burglar Steals Fishing Tackle

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December 06, 2011

Disabled Missouri Angler Loses Livelihood When Burglar Steals Fishing Tackle

--Chad Love

No-good heartless bastards recently stole a disabled, wheelchair-bound St. Louis, Missouri angler's entire inventory of fishing tackle from his van.

From this story on kplr11.com:

"...Someone apparently targeted Willie Vickers because he was an amputee who didn`t always have the stamina to bring his gear in from his van in the 4500 block of Ashland in North St. Louis, after hours of fishing. The water at Fairgrounds Park in North St. Louis and all that swims beneath the surface have been calling to Vickers since boyhood. 'I remember my first fish,' he said, recalling how a kind neighbor couple took him fishing for the first time more than 40 years ago. He was the only one of them to catch a fish that day.

When the former 'fork-lift' operator had his leg amputated as the result of diabetes related complications 4 years ago, his passion hit a new level; so did his collection of gear: 6 rods & reels, a tackle-box that seemed like an old friend, his transport "dolly" for moving it all; worth a thousand dollars or more -- but to Vickers -- priceless. 'Since I`ve had this prosthesis and I decided to start to go back fishing, I bought that tackle box. I go to Bass Pro Shop. I get the leaders, lures, line, and all that different stuff.' He also tries to ignite that same passion in kids; volunteering at the annual Bel-Ridge Fishing Derby for children.

With his fixed income, he can`t afford to replace it. 'They took away my little livelihood right then,' he said of the crime. He said it happened about a month ago; he wasn`t sure of the day. He doesn`t get out much, especially when he`s not fishing. 'What I think about most is they opened that door up, they had to take that wheelchair out and set it aside, then climb up in there and reach back in the back and take all this stuff... they took my wheelchair out and got all of my fishing stuff out of there and put the wheelchair back.'

Talk about low. Here's hoping someone comes forward with information about the crime. Anyone ever been the victim of fishing tackle theft? Did you ever recover any of it?

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Outsider wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Goodness, if any locals would set up an account at a local bank in his area, i would gladly donate to it to get him back out on the water.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jacoby33 wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

St. Louis was ranked in the top five of most dangerous cities in the world. He is lucky if that is all that happened.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ozarkhunter wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Just mailed this guy a $50 Bass Pro card. You can find his information at http://www.whitepages.com/name/Willie-Jr-Vickers/Saint-Louis-MO/4aimcn3

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowman77 wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

ozarkhunter - Thanks for the info, he will be getting a gift card from me as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Damn it all, i hope fishing karma is cruel to them with there stolen merchandise. while fishing with a friend of mine I caught someone trying to walk off with his tackle box and when I did the guy ran off and the strap broke on the tackle box luckily... for the other guy I wouldn't have had much kindness to spare. I' see what I can do about sending this guy a few homemade spinners when i get back home from school and hopefully before christmas,

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruger wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Great info Ozarkhunter! I'll be sending him a gift cert also. I just hope it's the right guy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ozarkhunter wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Bowman77, Fliphuntr14, Ruger -- Awesome! It makes me proud to belong to a hunting and fishing community where folks support one another.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

This is all true, I live just north, thirty miles from him. All kinds of people like us are offering help and replacment of equiptment, including Bass Pro shop.
This wonderful man has asked that any fishing gear he gets be given to an inner city kids fishing program that he helps out with in his wheel chair.
I think I'm a good person, but this man's heart is made of gold.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Heart warming comments - also makes me proud to be part of this community of sportsmen.

Unfortunately, this is all too common of a story - a young man I know had two guys steal his very full tackle box while he was fishing about 10 feet away (it was dark). He realized they had taken his tackle box just as they were driving away and was not able to get a license plate. I have had a number of men stop in our sporting goods store to purchase replacement gear/tackle after having their stuff stolen out of their cars. Another man had his stuff stolen from his vehicle while camping - fortunately he had insurance coverage.

Which brings me to my point - how many people have a detailed list of the tackle in their tackle box and a listing of their rods and reels for use in making an insurance claim. You may think you can recall everything that your tackle box contains but you will likely forget a lot of stuff under the duress of having to make the police report and/or insurance claim list. I suggest keeping a list or at least taking a picture of the tackle so you have a reference should the unthinkable happen to you...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AmericanFishFinder wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Unbelievable. It amazes me how stupid and heartless criminals are. I know its not quite the same thing, but a buddy of mine had all his fishing stuff stolen out his truck a few days before a huge fishing trip we had planned. A lot of the fishing gear was stuff that had been passed down for a few generations so it really was priceless gear on top of hundreds of dollars worth of gear and tackle.

It really irks me when I hear about this, especially given the situation of this disabled guy.

Thanks for posting this though. Wish I was in the area and could help out. I would be willing to help out with some donations if anything were to be setup for him.

Check out www.americanfishfinder.com for fishing reports and other fishing news for your fishing adventure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Outsider wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Goodness, if any locals would set up an account at a local bank in his area, i would gladly donate to it to get him back out on the water.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ozarkhunter wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Just mailed this guy a $50 Bass Pro card. You can find his information at http://www.whitepages.com/name/Willie-Jr-Vickers/Saint-Louis-MO/4aimcn3

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruger wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Great info Ozarkhunter! I'll be sending him a gift cert also. I just hope it's the right guy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ozarkhunter wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Bowman77, Fliphuntr14, Ruger -- Awesome! It makes me proud to belong to a hunting and fishing community where folks support one another.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

This is all true, I live just north, thirty miles from him. All kinds of people like us are offering help and replacment of equiptment, including Bass Pro shop.
This wonderful man has asked that any fishing gear he gets be given to an inner city kids fishing program that he helps out with in his wheel chair.
I think I'm a good person, but this man's heart is made of gold.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jacoby33 wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

St. Louis was ranked in the top five of most dangerous cities in the world. He is lucky if that is all that happened.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowman77 wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

ozarkhunter - Thanks for the info, he will be getting a gift card from me as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Damn it all, i hope fishing karma is cruel to them with there stolen merchandise. while fishing with a friend of mine I caught someone trying to walk off with his tackle box and when I did the guy ran off and the strap broke on the tackle box luckily... for the other guy I wouldn't have had much kindness to spare. I' see what I can do about sending this guy a few homemade spinners when i get back home from school and hopefully before christmas,

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Heart warming comments - also makes me proud to be part of this community of sportsmen.

Unfortunately, this is all too common of a story - a young man I know had two guys steal his very full tackle box while he was fishing about 10 feet away (it was dark). He realized they had taken his tackle box just as they were driving away and was not able to get a license plate. I have had a number of men stop in our sporting goods store to purchase replacement gear/tackle after having their stuff stolen out of their cars. Another man had his stuff stolen from his vehicle while camping - fortunately he had insurance coverage.

Which brings me to my point - how many people have a detailed list of the tackle in their tackle box and a listing of their rods and reels for use in making an insurance claim. You may think you can recall everything that your tackle box contains but you will likely forget a lot of stuff under the duress of having to make the police report and/or insurance claim list. I suggest keeping a list or at least taking a picture of the tackle so you have a reference should the unthinkable happen to you...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AmericanFishFinder wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Unbelievable. It amazes me how stupid and heartless criminals are. I know its not quite the same thing, but a buddy of mine had all his fishing stuff stolen out his truck a few days before a huge fishing trip we had planned. A lot of the fishing gear was stuff that had been passed down for a few generations so it really was priceless gear on top of hundreds of dollars worth of gear and tackle.

It really irks me when I hear about this, especially given the situation of this disabled guy.

Thanks for posting this though. Wish I was in the area and could help out. I would be willing to help out with some donations if anything were to be setup for him.

Check out www.americanfishfinder.com for fishing reports and other fishing news for your fishing adventure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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