Search continues for shrimp swindler

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

A fishy thief was caught on camera skipping the cash register and breaking into a freezer.

Fort Myers police said a man broke into Joe’s Crab Shack in downtown Fort Myers to steal three cases of frozen shrimp.

In July, at 3:30 a.m., Fort Myers police said, a man in a black hoodie, with bright red bolt cutters, muscled his way into the freezer of Joe’s Crab Shack.

He wasn’t after cold hard cash, instead took off with cold hard shrimp.

“Maybe he figured there was no cash, so you know, shrimp is something he could sell, or somebody had an order,” said Michael Doyle, a Fort Myers resident.

We’ve just learned that the business right across from Joe’s Crab Shack also had a run-in with an unwanted intruder, just weeks before the shrimp swindler struck.

“They didn’t get inside,” said Steve Brantner, owner of Steve B’s Waterfront Café. “But they got through this; this is hurricane glass. You can see how heavy-duty that is. They did not get all the way through. They got through the breakaway layer.”

Steve and his daughter Michelle don’t know if the same guy targeted their business, but they said the crimes come when people are still getting back on their feet after Ian.

They said that if the seafood suspect needed help, all he had to do was ask.

“We now have to be vigilant of everyone walking by because you don’t know who’s just going to just try and take what they want. Listen, come on over, I’ll give you what you want. You don’t have to break in. If you need to eat, we’ll give you a sandwich. You know what I mean? You don’t have to live that kind of life,” Michelle said.

Fort Myers police did not say the value of the frozen shrimp, but a quick search online shows cases of frozen shrimp can cost over $170, so the value of all three cases could be over $500.

If you think you know the man in the pictures, call Fort Myers Police or Crime Stoppers by clicking here or calling 1-800-780-TIPS. Remember, you can remain anonymous and still be eligible for the reward.

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