Some people will go to a lot of lengths when they’re attempting to steal exotic items, but a Florida man appears to have taken a different step when he stuffed some exotic fish down his pants at a pet shop.
The alleged crime was caught on camera and shows a man and woman, later identified by police as Cruz Garcia Jr. and Crystal Dixon, entering the Pet Safari pet shop on Jan. 9.
They then made their way over to the exotic fish aisle, where shop clerk Kayla Kraut said they began to act suspiciously.
“I could see the two of them over here, kind of looking out towards me,” she told NBC News affiliate WPTV.
Garcia Jr. is then seen scooping out several electric blue acaras and ram cichlids, two fish that typically range from $18 to $20 each.
Dixon kept Kraut distracted by asking what the clerk described as “random questions, anything to keep me occupied.”
Video then changes to show Garcia Jr. at a different tank, grabbing more fish.
Realizing he had nowhere to stuff the bag, however, security footage shows him putting it down the front of his pants.
Kraut told NBC the pair made their way to the door, but not before Garcia Jr. pointed at a fish tank near the front of the building and said, “Oh, that’s a really cool fish,” before running out the door.
She did get the licence plate number allowing police to later make an arrest on Jan. 19. Garcia Jr. has been charged with petty theft and is already out on bond.
They are still searching for Dixon in a case police say is a “first.”
“I think it’s the first call you ever heard where somebody stuffs live fish down their pants and flees the scene,” said Rob Shaw with Clearwater Police.