ESTERO, Fla. (WFLA/NBC News Channel) — A Florida turtle breeder said a handyman he hired stole over $27,000 worth of animals from his business, according to a report by NBC affiliate WBBH.
Turtle Source in Estero, Florida, breeds various species for the pet trade, some of which you can’t even find in the wild anymore.
“We breed 6 species that are extinct, or functionally extinct, which means there is not enough out there to repopulate in nature,” Turtle Source owner Marcus Cantos said.
Cantos said last week, he noticed several of his hatchlings were missing — along with his favorite, Hunchy.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot, but some of them were 7, 8 thousand dollar turtles, so the total was close to $30,000,” he said.
After looking at his video footage, Cantos learned that the suspected thief was the handyman he employed to do some work at the business, Jermaine Wofford.
Lee County deputies tracked Wofford down and found several of the turtles, including Hunchy.
Cantos said some of the turtles were found as far out as Hillsborough County. Others are still missing.
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