A recent Saturday was like most weekends for Chad Walker. He went fishing with his 15-year-old son Case.
The difference was Chad was missing the 10-foot Jon boat he purchased for his son four years ago. It was stolen in June and recovered two weeks ago by the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force. Walker now has the boat back in his hands, although it will require some repairs.
“I picked it up from the (Tallapoosa County) Sheriff’s Department (Monday),” Walker said. “(The suspects) drug it down the road messing up the bottom.”
Walker said he and some friends hope to repair the plastic Coleman boat, Case’s first boat.
“We will have to plastic weld it,” Walker said. “It is made from ABS plastic similar to what bumper covers are made of.”
Walker said the small boat was perfect for Case.
“It was small enough he could use it by himself,” Walker said. “He could handle it and put it in the water without help.”
Walker said the boat was the perfect gift for his son four years ago.
“He loves to fish,” Walker said. “It is the reason I’m so burnt up about the boat. He fishes about five days a week. He fishes in Hillabee (Creek) and a neighbor’s pond. I will fish with him when I can, most often the weekends when I’m not working.”
According to Walker, parts are not available for the boat as Coleman no longer makes the model. Walker said he had already made arrangements to replace the boat.
“I was not expecting to get it back,” Walker said. “I had already purchased a new boat for him.”
Walker said he is appreciative of all the people who helped recover the boat.
“Law enforcement was great,” Walker said. “Everyone from the task force, the sheriff’s department, Alex City and New Site police departments helped. I don’t think they know how much I appreciate it.”
Walker said he will hang onto the boat, even if it cannot be repaired.
“The boat might be worth $150,” Walker said. “I wouldn’t take $1,000 for it. It ain’t about the money. It’s about the memories created in that boat.”