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Thief caught on camera stealing turtle from exotic pet store

Kai Porter
August 16, 2017 06:17 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A suspected thief was caught on camera inside Desert Reef and Exotics in Albuquerque stealing a $300 water turtle from a tank.

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In the surveillance video, a woman with the man appeared to keep a lookout in the store. The owner of the store, JT Daniels, said the thief then reached into the tank and swiped the turtle.

"He walked pretty much straight in, put his hand in right here, grabbed it, checked it out, and the booked it right out," Daniels said.

Daniels said the thief was in and out in less than two minutes, and he didn’t notice the turtle was missing for about 20 minutes. Daniels checked the video from his surveillance cameras and was shocked by what he saw.

"These turtles, they'll usually try to bite your finger off, so to go in there and grab it, it's pretty ballsy," he said.

Daniels said the male Diamondback Terrapin turtle was part of a pair, and now the turtle's mate of seven years is all by herself.

"It's depressed because its mate's not here," Daniels said.

Daniels said he recognized the thief in the video as a regular customer who comes in to buy turtle food.

"It makes me think how much other stuff he's stolen that I don't know about," he said. "I mean he just came in and stole that like it was nothing. So how many things here and there he's probably stolen because he's probably in here once or twice a week."

Thieves have stolen animals from Daniel’s store at least five times before. He hopes the thief in this latest case returns to turtle.

Credits

Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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