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Theft at Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Shop

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Only about 30 percent of Dan Leavens’ inventory remains at his Stonefly Outfitters in Twin Bridges, Montana after someone stole at least $20,000 worth of goods overnight.

                                                                             Source: Renata Birkenbuel at the Montana Standard

 


The thieves apparently jimmied a window to enter the business after Dan had closed the shop, located at 409 N. Main St. The intruders took fly rods, fishing hats and cash, among other items during the heart of the prime fly fishing season.


It’s the second time this summer that the shop has been broken into. Leavens said that in June a thief got away with four Yeti coolers worth about $400 that were chained to the front porch of the shop. The thief cut the chains to get the merchandise.


Read the full story in the Montana Standard HERE







Articles by the same author






Comments (26 posted):

dean_mt on 24/07/2013 14:58:05
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Wow, wow! That is so effing lame I can't believe it! Twin Bridges is a tiny little town in the middle of one of the most beautiful valleys you could ever see, amazing cattle country and some of the best fishing in the world. I can't believe that someone would have the guts to break into a flyshop in and clean out the inventory of rods! With the Winston "factory" right down the street hopefully they can band together and find some these rods trying to be sold. It makes me sick. It makes me want to drive 250 miles so I can go buy a new fly box or something.
chi flyfisher on 24/07/2013 17:56:13
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Horrible to hear these types of events occurring. I'm sure the merchandise will find it's way to the auction sites, craigslist and the like. It's just a shame and it pisses me off.
jaybo41 on 24/07/2013 18:09:39
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It really sucks that stories like this one are becoming more common these days, it's not the first time I've read of something like this on a forum. Vehicle break-ins, forum classified shenanigans, fly shop break-ins, it all sucks especially when you consider that most anglers are sportsmen. Just goes to show you that there are scumbags everywhere these days. Situations such as this makes me second guess buying from that auction site or craigslist.
dean_mt on 24/07/2013 18:33:58
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It really sucks that stories like this one are becoming more common these days, it's not the first time I've read of something like this on a forum. Vehicle break-ins, forum classified shenanigans, fly shop break-ins, it all sucks especially when you consider that most anglers are sportsmen. Just goes to show you that there are scumbags everywhere these days. Situations such as this makes me second guess buying from that auction site or craigslist. Good point. I am dedicated to building all my rods these days, but I still look for reels and other gear online. I would certainly ask a lot of questions of an online auction/craigslist seller before buying. You see so many listings that are simply wrong that is a huge red flag that the seller obviously knows nothing about what they have. I just wish there was recourse. I bet you that no one in Twin Bridges ever locks there doors. Unfortunately it sounds like the fly shops will need expensive security systems now.
troutnut4 on 24/07/2013 19:12:33
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If I lived within a 100 miles of that shop, I would keep my eyes open for anyone on the street or on an auction site selling new rods without socks and tubes. If this was a smash and grab they probably didn't get those items. Scum / lowlife. Let's hope the local authorities have an ear to the ground. The thieves probably will not sell local if it is a small town and will want to move the merchandise in a hurry. Just my opinion.
dhayden on 24/07/2013 19:49:52
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Twin Bridges is so small (~400 people).. you'd think this would have been noticed.. even when it's 'busy' more than one car on the main street would be noticed. Hopefully.. they catch them.. it would be nice if they could post the serial numbers of the missing rods
plecain on 24/07/2013 20:45:56
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News like this is very depressing. I'll be (pleasantly) surprised if the police ever find the goods/thieves. I once asked someone in the fine arts business why someone would steal a very famous painting. I wanted to know how he'd ever sell it. The fellow I was talking to said, "No problem. There are people all over the world who would buy such a painting just to have it and look at it in private." I'm afraid the fishing business is much the same. There are people all over the world who won't turn down a deal that is too good. As I said, depressing.
chi flyfisher on 24/07/2013 23:53:22
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or on an auction site selling new rods without socks and tubes. . Very good point - never thought about that aspect.
lake flyer on 25/07/2013 00:05:39
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In all the times we stayed at The Stonefly Inn we never had a key for our cabin. Sad to have heard the bad news. He usually keeps his dogs in an outside kennel just a couple of yards from the shop too. Such a small town, if any honest person would have been up at the time they would probably have noticed something. Hope Dan can somehow recoup some of his monetary losses, and in such a small town if it was a local they will probably find the thieves.
sweetandsalt on 25/07/2013 12:33:28
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Having just returned from Montana, including a brief stop in Twin, I find this report incredible. My partner and I camp, as we have for decades, on public land with a full set up: tents, two burner, high BTU stove, sun shade, coolers full of thick steaks and beverages...no one ever messes with our stuff even though it is out there in plain sight for plenty of other anglers and recreationists to see. I like to think of that country as "The Last Best Place" where folks are friendly, honest (except about fish size and numbers) and helpful to one another. Strangers wave hello from their trucks as they pass your camp. I would like to see all higher end rods and reels serial numbered and registered by the maker as to the shop or individual purchaser. I know of a guy who left his valuable, hand made reel on a picnic table and after months of kicking himself for his own carelessness, found it listed on the auction site. They, the finder nor the purchaser had any interest in assisting the actual owner. Not theft of course but hardly the generosity of spirit one hopes to encounter among one's fellow fly fishers. And that too was in Montana.
jimbaker488 on 25/07/2013 20:52:01
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As somebody who is from a large urban area where this kind of criminal activity sadly is all-to routine, this is even more stunning considering that Twin Bridges is a place, maybe one of the "last few places" in this country, where one would think they can escape for awhile to avoid such things. Now on a kinda a down personal note here, the last time I was in Twin Bridges which was 2 year ago, right before I visited this particular Fly Shop which was burglarized I was shopping in the grocery store across the street and down the block where the guy at the cash register ripped me off on change for a twenty.
moucheur2003 on 26/07/2013 04:42:57
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Sounds like Twin Bridges is becoming one of those lawless frontier towns. Where are Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday when you need them?
JoJer on 26/07/2013 19:00:58
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Is there a way for the shop owner to ID the missing merch? If so, p'raps he could make an area on his web site where people could paste sales ads of like gear for follow up.
fredaevans on 26/07/2013 20:44:51
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Hell of it is, this stuff will be sold 'on line' and the seller will probably buy 'drugs' of some kind.
mudbug on 27/07/2013 00:10:03
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Is there a way for the shop owner to ID the missing merch? If so, p'raps he could make an area on his web site where people could paste sales ads of like gear for follow up. Aren't Winstons serial numbered?
plecain on 27/07/2013 11:47:40
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Aren't Winstons serial numbered? Yes. So are Sage, St. Croix, and some others. Some of them (Sage ONE, for example) are very difficult to see, but they're on there.
littledavid123 on 27/07/2013 15:55:02
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Odds are it won't be anyone who was raised in the area, the automobile is the greatest invention ever given to a thief. Sad, but the tourism small towns promote also brings in the undesirables. Dave
enolaeagle on 27/07/2013 20:11:46
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I feel real bad for the guy. That's a big loss but I'm sure the thief will be caught sooner or later while leaving a bad trail of online sales. I'm sure his business insurance will cover this. Now on to the tough love part: A similar instance happened earlier this year (as per the article). Its 2013 now and you can't just blow off when the first sign arrives. He should have taken all necessary steps to burgler proof his shop after the first time.
rockriver on 28/07/2013 14:46:12
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Here is another link that states what was stolen, but no serial numbers. Twin Bridges fly-fishing shop hit for $20,000
dhayden on 04/08/2013 15:44:41
chi flyfisher on 04/08/2013 17:24:45
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Hopefully.. this solves it Breaking News: Two arrested in connection with area thefts, burglaries | The Madisonian Good. Drugs are almost always involved and I'm glad they caught 'em. That Meth is bad stuff, man. I'm glad it wasn't around when I was younger and in my "experimental" years.
lake flyer on 04/08/2013 21:05:37
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Hope they can recover some or all of the merchandise. Sure glad to hear they caught the thieves! I have heard that meth is a big problem there, as well as everywhere else.
jaybo41 on 05/08/2013 14:26:39
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Good to hear there has been what appears to be a positive development in this. I still don't care for this somewhat recurring trend of ripping off sportsmen but at least these two have been apprehended.
troutnut4 on 05/08/2013 14:58:19
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Best news that I have heard today. The drug issue seems to overshadow everything else, but at least they were caught and some satisfaction for the TB Outfitter. If I was thinking of buying a new rod online, especially one without an original tube, sock and warranty card, I now would probably ask for the serial number and run it by the manufacturer to obtain the registered owner and if it matches the seller. Do you think that is going too far and just a pain? Would anyone else try the same? :D
jaybo41 on 05/08/2013 23:46:01
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Best news that I have heard today. The drug issue seems to overshadow everything else, but at least they were caught and some satisfaction for the TB Outfitter. If I was thinking of buying a new rod online, especially one without an original tube, sock and warranty card, I now would probably ask for the serial number and run it by the manufacturer to obtain the registered owner and if it matches the seller. Do you think that is going too far and just a pain? Would anyone else try the same? :D I typically don't consider a rod without a tube, sock or card but your suggestion may very well be worth doing whether it comes with those pieces or not. I don't think it's going to far by any means if you don't mind a few extra steps. By asking for the SN, you may very well just weed out the undesirable sellers, especially on an auction site. When I buy or sell here, I encourage discussion and prefer to have a conversation with a prospective buyer/seller. I like your suggestion.
fredaevans on 06/08/2013 00:45:57
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I look at the posters history. Long, to the point, etc., and I've no problem with a sale/purchase. New person and posts are pointless ... I'll take a pass. fae
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