CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A non-profit organization dedicated to taking America's wounded war heroes fishing is stuck on dry land. Someone stole a GPS unit from inside the Wounded Warrior Angler's boat.
For founders Dave and Judy Souders, this is a devastating blow. WINK News has taken you out on the water with the Souders in the past, as they helped wounded veterans cope with the trauma of war through the therapy of fishing.
But someone stole the boat's GPS unit in broad daylight.
An open hatch was the first clue someone had been rifling through David Souder's boat. "I closed the hatch, and I turned around and my chartplotter, fishfinder is gone," he said.
He told his wife Judy. She says, earlier that day, she had the feeling someone was sneaking around their Cape Coral home! "I thought I heard something again, I looked, and there was no one. I thought I was becoming quite paranoid. But I never checked outside, never thinking!" Judy said.
It happened just days before Thanksgiving. Someone had ripped out the GPS device, and with it, the organization's ability to help wounded warriors. They can't take the boat out anymore, for fear of hitting shallow water
Whats worse? The crook committed the crime despite seeing the organization's name.
"To steal something from this boat in particular I think it's really stooping below what I thought was low. And it scares the heck out of me," Judy said.
The Souders estimate it will cost about $2,000 to buy and install a new GPS. It's money they just don't have right now. And until its fixed? "It's pretty much, we're dead in the water," said David.
"We don't know exactly what we're going to do yet. We just know we have to get that piece of equipment back on our boat," said Judy.
Cape Coral Police dusted for fingerprints, but at this time there are no new leads.
Despite this, the couple says, they're going to continue to help wounded veterans and hope to get the boat back in the water as soon as they can.
If you would like to donate to help the non-profit, visit their website at http://www.woundedwarrioranglers.org/