Following an extensive investigation, Maryland State Police have charged an Annapolis man with stealing thousands of dollars worth of lures and tackle from retail shops around the state during the past two years, and allegedly selling the items on eBay.
The Annapolis Capital newspaper reports that Patrick Allan Taylor, 37, described by shop owners as “a real personable kind of guy” who liked to talk about fishing, is charged with regularly stuffing his pockets with high-priced jigs and lures.
At least one tackle shop figures Taylor may have pilfered up to $30,000 in gear from them.
Police charged Taylor with two counts of felony theft and one count of theft scheme after they searched his home last week and discovered thousands of dollars worth of lures and fishing equipment reported stolen from stores throughout the state.
At the time of his arrest, a police spokesperson said they found at least $5,000 worth of lures and other tackle that was stolen from one fishing shop alone.
Several tackle shop owners confirmed that Taylor used a similar tact in his thievery: he would instigate a friendly banter with the store personnel about fishing and would always purchase something at a nominal cost.
“He’d come in, hang out, and he’d always buy stuff,” said Keith Fraser, owner of Alltackle.com. “Turns out, the whole time he was grabbing stuff. He wore a winter coat, mid-thigh length, with padded pockets where he could dump stuff in really quickly. So he’d buy $50 worth of stuff, and take $1,000 worth of stuff.”
The Capital reported yesterday that the newspaper’s research indicated that the sale of fishing equipment on Taylor’s eBay site in just the past 90 days totaled around $30,000.
By all accounts, it appears that Taylor was a deliberate and calculated scam artist, becoming friendly with shop owners and staff while earning their trust, before bilking them out of thousands.
“He made us feel really comfortable, and it turns out the whole time he was stealing behind our back,” said Fraser. “He was a trustable type of guy. He always had a smile on his face, and always had a story to tell.”
We can’t wait to see what kind of fish story he’ll tell the judge.