SHELTON — A local man has been reunited with his fishing gear, which was accidentally dumped at the city’s hazardous waste day Oct. 10.

Last week, Board of Aldermen President John Anglace, who spearheaded the search for the owner of the gear, later identified as John Tillman, alerted the Shelton Herald Friday that the fishing equipment is back with its owner.

“It’s a great feeling to help people … we’re all just glad we found him,” Anglace said.

Tillman, in a letter to the editor, said he went to the hazardous waste day to dump waste oil, but when the workers removed the waste oil from his truck, they also took a white, 3-gallon pail, which contained his fishing gear.

"When I got home and saw it was missing, I went to the yard spoke to the man he did not remember taking it,” Tillman said. “Aldermen John Anglace saw what had happened and said ‘we will look for it.’”

Tillman said he thought the gear was ultimately stolen, but “I was way wrong. John took up the search with help and found it. I apologize to anyone I may have offended.”

Anglace was dumping his hazardous waste at the same time as Tillman, who inadvertently left a 3-gallon white pail containing his fishing gear in the back of his black pickup truck next to the materials to be dropped off.

Because of the pandemic, residents do not get out of their vehicle at the hazardous waste event. Anglace said when city workers removed the material from the man’s vehicle, they also took the fishing gear.

After driving off, the man noticed the fishing gear was gone and went back to see if it could be found, Anglace said.

City workers finally found the dumped gear after a long search, but by that time, the man was gone, forgetting to leave his contact information.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com