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Man arrested, accused of theft, poaching in St. Louis County

During a search of the man's property, police found stolen property, 22 unaccounted for deer racks and a catfish that had gone bad
Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A man was arrested for theft and wildlife charges after a poaching investigation.

According to a Facebook post from the Missouri Department of Conservation, a St. Louis County conservation agent worked with the St. Louis County Police Department and St. Charles County Police Department after a report of stolen waterfowl decoys from a hunter in St. Charles County.

The agent and the police departments conducted a search of the man's property, where they found numerous stolen items, including the stolen decoys. Officers also found 22 unaccounted for deer racks and a large catfish that had gone bad. 

The man admitted he caught the fish on the Mississippi River without a permit.

Police arrested the man for multiple counts of theft and wildlife charges. The Facebook post said he also had outstanding warrants.

St. Louis County police said he the man has not been charged yet. Detectives with the department said it will likely take time for charges to be filed due to the number of stolen items and because police are still working to identify victims.

POACHER CAUGHT: St. Louis County Conservation Agent Jeff Breuer and detectives with the St. Louis County and St. Charles...

Posted by Missouri Dept. of Conservation on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

If you have information related to wildlife crime, you can call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-392-1111. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day.

If you provide information that results in an arrest and you’ve asked to be considered for a reward, your agent will refer this request to a citizen board of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. That board assigns a reward based on the severity of the violation involved. Rewards range from $50 to $1,000.

How can you tell if someone is poaching?

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, conservation agents spend time each year tracking down poachers who disregard regulations protecting wildlife. Here are some of the illegal activities that agents dealt with last year:

  • Hunting from the road
  • Disposing of carcasses and other body parts in streams, rivers, ponds and lakes
  • Harvesting a deer or turkey and putting someone else’s permit on it
  • Using a spotlight to harvest deer or turkeys

A person is poaching if he or she…

  • Sells venison, deer sausage, fish or small game to acquaintances or at work.
  • Collects live animals for sale.
    • Many native species of reptiles and amphibians (turtles, lizards, snakes and frogs) are illegally taken for worldwide pet trade.
  • Hunts without a permit or with an inappropriate permit.
    • Some non-residents will try to buy lower-cost resident permits, even though they are not qualified to do so.
  • Collects native seeds, plants or roots on Conservation Department lands.

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