“In January, 2010, 33-year-old Benjamin Michael Whalen, believed to be a former flyfishing guide, allegedly knocked off a string of specialty flyshops in Colorado. He is charged with multiple misdemeanors and felonies for crimes committed across a number of Colorado County jurisdictions. Whalen’s modus operandi was to enter a shop and discuss a gift for his father and the purchase of high-end rods and reels.”


“Once the shop employee was distracted, the suspect would leave the store quickly with the items. The crime spree lasted half a month. At the time, Internet blogs, message boards, and fishing forums lit up. A virtual posse was deputized and dispatched to track the culprit down. There was significant speculation as to who could/would target such small niche businesses–and get away with it for so long. In general, there was outrage. Whalen is currently behind bars in Arapahoe County Jail, awaiting trial and facing up to 8+ years in prison.”

Read the rest of the story by my friend and Carp crusader Will Rice over on