_–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

“…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 cant 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 wasnt sure of the day. He doesnt get out much, especially when hes 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?