West Allis Police searching for tortoise thief

Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 13:38:15-05

West Allis Police are looking for a man accused of stealing tortoises from a pet store. 

Police said in a Facebook post that a man stole five Sulcata Tortoises from Pet World located near 108th and Oklahoma. Store officials say they were taken last Monday night. 

Surveillance video shows the man walking into the store and past several cameras before reaching into the reptile’s enclosure and grabbing them.

“He easily opened the flap and then just stuck his arm in and seemed to put them in his sleeve,” said sales associate Maxine Niedzielski.

The tortoises can grow to be as big as 3 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds so they need special care.

"Even when they are full grown adults… the weather outside in Wisconsin is not fit at all for them and it wouldn't take much time for them to pass along," Niedzielski said. 

The animals aren’t cheap either. At $179.99 per tortoise, that’s a nearly $1000 theft from the small Wisconsin chain pet store.

The suspect is described as a white man wearing a red jacket, a dark stocking cap, dark pants and white shoes. 

If you know that man, or anything related to the case, you are asked to contact West Allis Police at (414) 302-8000 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (414) 476-CASH.