Suffolk police are looking for a thief who stole over a dozen 15-inch turtles, two large koi fish, a chicken and some statuary pond décor from a West Islip exotic pet store earlier this month.
The theft at B.T.J’s Jungle, which occurred on October 7 according to the store’s surveillance video, was reported to police this weekend after owners realized the animals and items were missing.
“As pond season is almost over we’re not in the back area as much so I was out there and realized the turtles were gone and so we checked the video tape and there was the guy taking the fish and Heckle,” John Niehoff told Patch Sunday in a phone interview.
Heckle is one of two mascot chickens, the other being Jekyll, at the well-known exotic pet store which has been in business in West Islip for 43 years. It's currently located on Sunrise Highway.
The video shows a man wearing a hoodie arriving about 5 a.m. with pillowcases and spending 45 minutes in the store.
“He definitely did his homework came prepared and knew what he wanted,” said Niehoff runs the business with his brothers Bill and Tom.
The stolen koi are valued at $800. The theft totaled $1,500.