Security cameras catch thief shoving live fish down his pants

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  Jan. 23, 2018 at 11:38 AM
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Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said they arrested a man who was caught on camera stealing exotic fish from a pet store by shoving them down his pants.

The Clearwater Police Department said Cruz Garcia Jr. and accomplice Crystal Dixon walked into the Pet Safari store Jan. 9 and Dixon quickly set about distracting store clerk Kayla Kraut.

Kraut told WFLA-TV Dixon was asking "just random questions. Anything to keep me occupied."

The security cameras recorded Garcia taking Electric Blue Acaras and Blue Ram Cichlids from display tanks, bagging them and shoving the fish-filled bags down his pants.

"The boyfriend came to this fish tank over here, pointed at a fish and said, 'Oh, that's a really cool fish' and then ran out the door," Kraut said. "I immediately went to where I saw them last and I noticed there were droplets of water coming from the tank. I knew there was missing fish."

The store said the fish ranged in price from $18 to $20 each.

Kraut was able to get the license plate number of the pair's getaway vehicle and turned it over to police with the security camera footage.

Garcia was arrested Friday on a charge of petit theft and police are still searching for Dixon.

"I think it's the first call you ever heard were somebody stuffs live fish down their pants and flees the scene," police spokesman Rob Shaw said.

The fish have not been recovered, police said.

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