SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Police have released surveillance images of a man suspected of stealing as many as 20 ornate wood turtles worth $100 each from a reptile supply business in Santa Ana.
The burglary happened Sunday when a group of suspects jumped the fence of California Zoological Supply in Santa Ana.
Owner Ty Dillon said he had been keeping some of the turtles outdoors during the summer so they can get some sun.
One of the thieves was caught on surveillance video after he jumped the fence from a neighbor’s yard, landed on one of the acrylic tanks and broke it, Dillon said, cutting his right leg and trailing blood everywhere.
Dillon and one of his employees saw one of the thieves leaving with one box of turtles. They reported the theft to the police after seeing the suspects had cut one of the yard’s four fences.
The business doesn’t have anything else of value back there, Dillon said.
“It’s almost like it was a theft of opportunity for them,” Dillon said. “Like, ‘they don’t have any copper, let’s take some turtles.’”
The turtles that were stolen were Central American ornate wood turtles, which Dillon described as a “real pretty, real mellow” species that retails for about $100 each.
At least one vehicle used by the thieves was caught on surveillance video, but the truck’s license plate was not captured, Dillon said.
Anyone with information about the burglary can call Santa Ana police Detective David Yettaw at (714) 245-8432.