Thanks to a post on social media, authorities have made an arrest in the theft of nearly $19,000 in custom fishing equipment stolen in late-July.
On July 28th, a professional fisherman reported that someone had stolen custom-made fishing rods and reels, life jackets and plastic bait from his home near Clayton. The victim told authorities most of the 35 custom made rods had his name engraved on them by the manufacturer.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office didn’t have any suspects in the case until the victim saw his equipment for sale on a social media website a few weeks later. The victim knew it was his equipment because the photos clearly showed his name on the stolen rods.
The victim notified sheriff’s detectives. An undercover officer posing as a buyer met the suspect at a location and recovered most of the stolen gear.
The suspect, Bryce Austin Besley, 26, of Walnut Creek Drive, Clayton, lived less than a mile from the victim. Besley was charged Wednesday with felony larceny, felony possession of stolen property and felony attempting to obtain property by false pretenses. He was incarcerated in the Johnston County Jail under a $20,000 secured bond.
Detective Lt. Brian Murphy said the investigation into the theft is still ongoing.