Florida Man strikes again, this time ripping off a cancer charity tied to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Police said a man stole a trailer filled with irreplaceable memorabilia from a hotel parking lot last month. Police have identified a man they believe stole the items and are asking for the public’s help locating him.
The Jimmy Van Zant Cancer Charity had planned to auction off the items to raise cash for its mission. Van Zant was the former lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, who died in 2016 of liver cancer. The charity’s goal is to help eradicate cancer and “relieve the pain and suffering from this terrible disease.”
Charity officials said they were heartbroken over the theft because many of the items can’t be replaced. They begged for the return of the items “no questions asked.”
“We had large hopes of making great money at the event, however without much to sell, well, we actually lost money on the event, due to this loss,” the charity wrote on Facebook. “We had high hopes, because of COVID we were not able to do anything to raise money last year at all. … But hey, it was a success because people stepped to the plate in the area and donated their own personal stuff to help us, May God Bless You All!!
“Some have suggested a Gofundme, and we may do that, but for now please share this post, and maybe (we are praying) we might find these buttwipes and retrieve our stuff no questions asked. Please if you are reading this drop it off somewhere. You didn’t just steal from us you are taking away some of our ability to help others in need.”
Police ID Suspect in Theft of Lynyrd Skynyrd Items
Police believe William James Walker is the likely culprit in the case. They released his mugshot and asked the public to call the police if anyone sees him.
Organizer and the charity’s treasurer, Joey Willut, told News4Jax that the items taken were valued at $12,000.
“We have guitars that are signed by a lot of the band members,”he said. “A lot of them aren’t even alive anymore. It’s stuff that can’t be replaced.”
Some of the items stolen included a 1957 Les Paul guitar signed by Gregg Allman, Brian Howe, Butch Trucks, Lita Ford, and many others; two guitars signed by other musicians; a Roadmaster Bass cabinet with Beaver Bass head used by Leon Wilkinson; and several other instruments, The Jimmie Van Zant Cancer Charity shared on Facebook.
Police ask anyone with information in the case to contact investigators at 904-264-5555. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).