Selfie leads to arrest of camera thieves - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Selfie leads to arrest of camera thieves

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Dale Decker Jr. points to where he left his hunting equipment in a blind on private property. Dale Decker Jr. points to where he left his hunting equipment in a blind on private property.
The blind on private property, where Dale Decker, Jr. left his gear. The blind on private property, where Dale Decker, Jr. left his gear.
The selfie that led police to make arrests for the theft of Decker's stolen camera. The selfie that led police to make arrests for the theft of Decker's stolen camera.

CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB) -- Dale Decker Jr. left his hunting equipment and his digital camera in his hunting blind. When he returned early the next morning, they were gone.

“I’ve never had that happen before because no one hunts down here,” Decker told WDRB.

It's private property that he says he has permission to hunt on, so he didn't think twice about leaving his hunting equipment in his blind.

It happened the first week of October.

Decker's crossbow and camera are worth about $1,500 combined, but he says the photos on the camera are worth even more.

“It's got pictures of my son who's deceased and my grandson playing basketball. A bunch of memories you know,” said Decker.

When Indiana conservation officers launched an investigation, they got an anonymous tip leading them to a cemetery in Corydon where they found the alleged stolen goods.

The pictures had been erased, but, with some help, they were able to retrieve the photos from the camera's SD card. The most recent picture was a selfie of a female.

Further investigation led police to arrest 24-year-old Branden Fischbach and 22-year-old Jared Atkins.

Police say the female in the picture is Atkins' girlfriend.

"Multiple people were interviewed and it ultimately came down to the two that were charged,” said Jim Hash, conservation officer with Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Decker says from now on, he's keeping his hunting equipment close to him and his camera even closer.

"I feel like I was invaded. They took part of my life. He only has one kid. The thing about it is, the day Mr. Schreck recovered the stuff was on the ninth of October and that's the same day my boy died. The camera and the bow and stuff I didn't really care about. But the pictures, it was like bringing my son back to life,” Decker told WDRB.

Both suspects are charged with theft.

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