Man accused of stealing reptiles, reptile eggs facing grand theft charge

Reporter: Megan Contreras
Published: Updated:

NAPLES, Fla.- A reptile farm employee accused of stealing dozens of eggs and keeping the animals when they hatched appeared in court on Thursday.

Wayne Simmons is accused of stealing eggs from Reptile Industries that can be sold on the black market for hundreds to thousands of dollars, according to the company’s owner, who says there are not many breeders of the specific reptiles in the United States.

Collier County detectives say Simmons admitted to the crime. When deputies showed up to his home, they found 19 tortoises and 38 pythons worth an estimated $7,300. The animals have since been returned back to Reptile Industries. The owners say Simmons did apologize in an email.

He’s facing one charge of grand theft and is being held on $5,000 bond.

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