Thief uses cup to steal $1,800 in exotic corals from North Miami Beach store

Surveillance video shows man accused of stealing from Fish Collection

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A man recently used a McDonald's paper cup with a straw and lid to steal expensive corals from a store's tank in North Miami Beach.

The store sells exotic corals that come from as far as Indonesia, Australia and the Phillipines. The bright Master Scolymia -- one of the three wild corals that the thief stole -- is worth about $1,000. It was the most expensive in the tank. 

Surveillance video from a motion sensor camera at the Fish Collection at 1609 NE 163rd St. shows the man they believe to be the brazen thief.

They belive the man took off the lid off the cup and reached into the tank for the corals. 

A video shows him placing the lid with the straw back on the cup and looking around to see if someone was watching him. He wiped his hands on his pants and wiped the bottom of the cup as well.

The employees later noticed $1,800 worth of corals were gone from the tank.  

The store employees believe the man, who came in with a friend who distracted the employees, was prepared and probably had salt water in the cup to make sure the corals survived the transfer out of the tank.

He is to blame now for a change in policy at the Fish Collection where customers are no longer allowed to bring in cups to the store. 

The store owner is asking anyone with information to call the North Miami Beach Police Department at 305-949-5500 or Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

 

 

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