Sulfur man arrested for stealing fishing gear in Toledo Bend
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – A Sulfur man has been arrested in connection with the theft of fishing gear in Toledo Bend.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell said detectives investigated numerous reports of thefts totaling thousands of dollars worth of fishing gear. He said detectives initially had little evidence, but did have a vehicle description of 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 Sulfur looting boats at a local resort, Mitchell said. Items from Mott’s vehicle were allegedly stolen from another area the same night, Mitchell said.
Mott was arrested and released from jail days later on a full bond of $30,542.
After Mott’s arrest, detectives were able to obtain several digital pieces of evidence that revealed a pattern in some of the robberies, Mitchell said.
Additional thefts of fishing gear were reported at the south end of Lake Toledo Bend over the weekend of July 23. Mitchell said a vehicle matching the same description — a white 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 4-Door Truck — was seen in the area around the thefts. .
Detectives from Sabine Parish and Calcasieu Parish Deputies searched Mott’s home in Sulfur on July 27, 2022, seizing more than 70 rods, reels and rod and reel combos, Mitchell said. Detectives also seized numerous boxes and bags of fishing tackle and bait, nets, life jackets, game cameras, binoculars and other items, Mitchell said. His vehicle was also seized and searched, which resulted in the recovery of more rods and reels, 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 gear was positively identified by victims of robberies at Lake Toledo Bend.
Mott was arrested on nine counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and unlawful possession of stolen property between $1,000 and $5,000, two counts of theft between $1,000 and $5,000 and two counts of criminal trespass.
“Detectives said Mott was the prime suspect in the robberies and burglaries along Lake Toledo Bend, Lake Sam Rayburn and possibly southwestern Louisiana,” Mitchell said.
The sheriff has asked anyone with fishing gear taken from camps or boats to please report detailed descriptions of the items to local law enforcement.
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