Sulphur man arrested in connection with theft of fishing equipment from Toledo Bend
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A Sulphur man has been arrested in connection with the theft of fishing equipment from Toledo Bend.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell said detectives have been investigating numerous reports of theft totaling thousands of dollars of fishing equipment. He said detectives initially had little evidence, but did have a vehicle description from some of the thefts.
On the morning of May 21, a deputy saw a vehicle matching the description and caught Joseph Harrison Mott, 52, of Sulphur, pilfering through boats at a local resort, Mitchell said. In Mott’s vehicle were items reported stolen from another area that same night, Mitchell said.
Mott was arrested and bonded out of jail a couple of days later on a $30,542 total bond.
After Mott’s arrest, detectives were able to obtain several pieces of digital evidence which revealed a pattern in some of the thefts, Mitchell said.
More thefts of fishing equipment were reported on the south end of Toledo Bend Lake on the weekend of July 23. Mitchell said a vehicle fitting the same description - a white 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 4-door truck - was seen in the area around the thefts.
Sabine Parish detectives and Calcasieu Parish deputies searched Mott’s home in Sulphur on July 27, 2022, seizing over 70 rods, reels, and rod & reel combos, Mitchell said. Detectives also seized numerous boxes and bags of fishing tackle and baits, nets, life jackets, game cameras, binoculars, and other items, Mitchell said. His vehicle was also seized and searched, resulting in more rods and reels being found, Mitchell said.
Detectives also seized nine firearms and numerous boxes of ammunition, which Mott should not possess because he is a convicted felon, Mitchell said.
Mitchell said some of the fishing items were positively identified by victims of thefts at Toledo Bend Lake.
Mott was arrested on nine counts of possession of firearm by a convicted felon and illegal possession of stolen things from $1,000 to $5,000, two counts of theft between $1,000 and $5,000 and two counts of criminal trespass.
“Detectives said Mott is a prime suspect in the thefts and burglaries along Toledo Bend Lake, Sam Rayburn Lake and possibly southwest Louisiana,” Mitchell said.
The sheriff asked anyone with fishing items taken from camps or boats to please report detailed descriptions of the items to local law enforcement.
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