Colorado fly shop heists and a lesser villain

So the man who became public enemy number one among proprietors of Coloradan fly shops earlier this year may finally be facing justice (the report is from The Drake but I’m obliged to Moldy Chum for making me aware of it).

“Benjamin Michael Whalen, believed to be a former flyfishing guide, allegedly knocked off a string of specialty flyshops in Colorado. He is charged with multiple misdemeanors and felonies for crimes committed across a number of Colorado County jurisdictions. Whalen’s modus operandi was to enter a shop and discuss a gift for his father and the purchase of high-end rods and reels. Once the shop employee was distracted, the suspect would leave the store quickly with the items. The crime spree lasted half a month….Whalen is currently behind bars in Arapahoe County Jail, awaiting trail and facing up to 8+ years in prison”

While it is gratifying to see that someone is at least going on trial for this (although we wait to see if the police have the right person, of course) the story’s thunder is rather stolen by the remarkable comment from one of The Colorado Kid’s victims – Kyle Murphy of Trout’s Fly Fishing in Denver – who says of the robber, “He seemed a bit weird, but so are a lot of the anglers we get in here.”

I doubt I’m alone in having a wry appreciation for what he’s getting at but is this really the best way to schmooze the folks who put food on your table, never mind present them to the wider public? Especially when your shop’s website states, “We want to go beyond just selling gear, and break down the barrier that typically lies between fly shops and fly shop patrons…

Er, yeah, that should do it, Kyle, and no mistake. Attributing mental health issues to anyone who enters your store: a surefire commercial rainmaker.

Now, I’m a long way from this story, I know. Maybe Kyle is realising his error insisting he was misquoted. Maybe Coloradans are very big on self-deprecation and will now flock through the doors of Trout’s Fly Fishing to shake Murphy’s hand for his masterful use of irony.

I certainly hope so. While stolen stock can be replaced in days, trashed goodwill tends to take rather longer.


Pic of the Day


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