Public rally around Jase, 13, after fishing theft
A young fisherman who had his tackle box stolen said yesterday he was delighted after the public rallied round to replace his lost equipment.
Jase Lawes-Mathis, 13, was fishing for snapper and jacks off the dock at Albuoy's Point in Hamilton when the box of hooks, weights and lures was snatched.
Jase, from Spanish Point, Pembroke, said he was about to finish up for the day when a fish was attracted by his bait and distracted him.
He noticed his tackle box, a gift from charity Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, was gone when he checked later.
Jase explained: “I felt scared. I thought there's no way it could have gone overboard, so someone must have taken it.
“It made me feel really upset that someone did that to me because fishing is my passion; I love to go fishing to relax.”
Jase and his mother, Desiree Mathis, searched the area without success after the June 6 theft and reported the tackle box as stolen to police.
But police said CCTV cameras in the area were not working at the time.
Jase decided to try to earn some extra cash to replace the lost gear and offered his services for fishing and cleaning boats, but had little luck.
He said: “I wanted to do different things to make the money, but it wasn't working.”
Ms Lawes-Mathis said she decided to pitch in and help out.
She added: “He loves fishing; that is what he does day and night almost every day.
“I did want to bring awareness to what happened — we were really disappointed.
“I put the story on Facebook and I said Jase would like to earn some money and that's when all the phone calls and messages started pouring in with the community wanting to help him.
“They started sending gift certificates to us for C-Mart, which has a fishing tackle section.”
She added: “The box that was stolen had been gifted to him by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, so when they heard about it Patrina O'Connor, who is the charity's managing director, took our story and added to her page. We were completely overwhelmed — we heard from 31 people in total.
“A couple of people gave cash anonymously towards supplies and he went to Marine Locker and did some shopping there.”
Jase ended up with a well-stocked new tackle box and some extra gear, including a life jacket for when he fished from a boat, a rod, a hat and sunglasses.
He said he was still upset that someone stole from him, but that the kindness of the public had shown that people cared.
Jase added: “It made me feel that I always have people who have my back and they are always watching the positive things I do like fishing which I love.”
He said his uncle, Andre “Chunka” Outerbridge, had “taught me everything I know” about the pastime.
Jase added: “Fishing is my passion — I fish every single day.”