It Takes a Thief Crime at Table Rock Lake Linked to Branson's Boom

By Ap | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), July 2, 1995 | Go to article overview

It Takes a Thief Crime at Table Rock Lake Linked to Branson's Boom


Ap, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Branson's tourism boom has brought an unwelcome element to nearby Table Rock Lake: thieves.

Just ask Bob Reese, who keeps his expensive bass boat at a dock in the Long View arm of the lake. Three months ago, the propeller and $3,000 worth of fishing tackle were stolen from a locked box on the dock.

"It's a lowlife . . . that would steal a man's fishing tackle," Reese said. "That's like stealing someone's dog. It's gotten so you can't enjoy the lake any more. If we bring a chair down to the dock, we have to chain it up when we go home."

Crime has risen sharply in the past decade at the sprawling lake. In 1985, the Missouri State Water Patrol investigated 75 thefts. Last year, the number jumped to 174, said patrol Capt. Gary Haupt.

For four years, the number of Table Rock thefts has equaled or, in some years, exceeded the number at Lake of the Ozarks, a lake with 30,000 boat docks compared with 3,000 on Table Rock, Haupt said.

Some Table Rock boat owners think the Water Patrol and sheriff's departments, which have overlapping jurisdiction for crimes committed on the lake shore, are passing the buck and being unresponsive.

Paul Koeppen said five instances of vandalism and theft have cost him at least $2,000 during the three years his ski boat has been docked on Table Rock near Compton Ridge on Missouri 265. …

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