Data on device worth millions of dollars
Story by Anna Wilson
We all know the classic story of Robin Hood, the hero who takes from the rich and gives back to the poor. You wouldn’t think the Treasure Valley could have their own version of this renowned hero, but Robert ‘Rocky’ Detwiler has proven that ordinary people can stand up and make a change. Rocky, otherwise known as ‘River Robin Hood,’ finds fun and adventure in diving through the deep waters of the Boise River to retrieve and return people’s lost items. From sunglasses to phones to prosthetic legs, Rocky’s found it all.
Recently, Rocky was diving the Boise River and pulled a phone from the depths. Rocky set out to find the owner of the phone, and discovered it belonged to Bert Kreischer, or ‘The Machine,’ one of the most recognizable comedians in the world. He had been floating the Boise River when he lost it. Turns out, Bert had gone up on stage at his recent show and said that his phone was worth $350 million because of the content that was on it. “I didn’t know that until I met his camera guy who helped me find it,” Rocky says. Rocky returned the phone to Bert, who was grateful to have his phone back.
In the summer of 2020, Rocky received a call that a young man had lost his prosthetic leg while floating the Boise River with his friends. Rocky got straight to work, determined to find the man’s leg. After just a few skims of the river floor, Rocky swam to the surface, holding the leg in his hand. When he returned the leg, the young man and his family were overjoyed, and Rocky says that the two “hugged and cried like long lost brothers.” “It was one of the great highlights of my life to find something of such great personal value and importance and then return it,” he later said.
Rocky doesn’t just find phones and prosthetic legs, though. He’s found thousands of dollars worth of prescription sunglasses, shoes, watches, and wallets, and sometimes those items get stuck in difficult places. Rocky was diving for a wallet in one of the quicker, deeper areas of the river. “I dove for it for almost two hours,” he says. “Diving down, missing the item, fighting my way to the side of the river, fighting my way up the river, then diving down again.” After much determination, Rocky finally retrieved the wallet from the river, and was able to get in touch with the owner, who was happy to have her lost item back.
Rocky has partnered with Barber Park and Anne Morrison Park in order to continue to advertise his services with signs reading “RiverRobinHood: Dive-Retrieve-Return!” He’s also partnering with the Police and Fire Department in order to become a resource to those in need. It’s not everyday you see someone so selfless and willing to spend their time helping others. Rocky loves his community and helping those that are a part of it, and those who have been touched by his kindness are forever grateful.