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Bartlesville Veteran's Fishing Equipment Stolen On Memorial Day

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BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -

Surveillance video shows a thief stealing fishing gear from a Bartlesville veteran's front porch on Memorial Day.

Cristen Smith said they lost about $1,000 worth of fishing gear when someone snuck onto their front porch early in the morning and took every fishing pole they had.

"The fishing poles we had leaned up over here, out of sight," she said.

Surveillance video from the Smiths' front porch shows a man come onto the porch and leave with a tackle box and a minnow bucket, but Smith said he made off with much more.

"We have about 10-12 fishing poles that we're missing," she said. "Thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff just gone. I mean, we can't replace that."

Smith said it happened early Monday morning.

"Memorial Day. And my husband's a veteran so it's just like a slap in the face," she said.

The theft was captured on video by their doorbell.

Smith said her husband, who served in the Army, didn't notice it was missing until Thursday morning.

"He looked over and realized that the fishing poles and stuff was gone," she said.

Smith said the gear was more than just a hobby for her husband, who has PTSD. She said it was a release for him.

"He spent 15 months in Iraq," said Smith. "For the first eight years he was out, that's all he did was fish and hunt."

It's fun for the kids too. Smith said when their son isn't rodeoing, he's fishing.

"People say, ‘Well, just go out and buy new stuff.’ It's not that easy. Stuff's expensive," she said.

But maybe most importantly, Smith said they also use the fish they catch to feed their family of six.

"We're hoping we can at least try to find some of it,” she said. “That way we're not having to replace everything because it's going to take us years to even replace what was stolen."

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