What a catch: Police find $50K of stolen fishing rods

HERVEY Bay detectives have found more than $50,000 worth of fishing gear that was stolen from the Australia's Greatest Boats exhibition in October.

More than 60 fishing rods, reels and tackle were reportedly pinched from about five or six different boats that were put on display in Hervey Bay as part of a showcase of boats set to be put on the market next year.

While the interstate boat owners slept on the night of October 26, the massive haul of expensive gear was allegedly stolen from the boats parked in the Fraser St caravan park.

More fishing gear was reported stolen from the Urangan Marina about a week later.

One of the victims, Tim Stessl from Fishing and Leisure Boats on the Gold Coast, said he thought he might never see his $6500 worth of fishing gear again.

That was until he received an email from the Hervey Bay Criminal Investigation Branch on Christmas Eve to say some of his rods, reels and tackle had been found with other stolen property.

"I'm pretty happy, it made my Christmas," Mr Stessl said.

"It was a real shame when it happened because we were planning on going fishing at the end of the week. The weather was perfect, but of course when our gear was stolen, we couldn't do that."

STOLEN RODS: Tim Stessl's rods, reels and tackle was among $50,000 worth of property allegedly stolen from a boat show in October.
STOLEN RODS: Tim Stessl's rods, reels and tackle was among $50,000 worth of property allegedly stolen from a boat show in October. Eliza Wheeler

Mr Stessl said he had not expected to have his property stolen in Hervey Bay.

"It's a beautiful area - great fishing spot," he said.

"It's a shame, but it won't stop me from coming back."

Plain clothes constable Dean Robertson told the Chronicle police had received information from the public about the possible whereabouts of the stolen property just before Christmas.

"Police executed a search warrant of a Hervey Bay address, where they located more than 60 rods and reels, hundreds of lures and tackle at the address, in possession of a male person," Const Robertson said.

"The property was seized and police are in the process of identifying the owners."

A 32-year-old Wondunna man was charged and is expected to appear in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court by the end of the year.

If you believe your property may be amongst the haul, you can take proof of ownership to the Hervey Bay police station to collect your property.



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