Baby gator, turtles stolen from Busch Wildlife Sanctuary just da - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Baby gator, turtles stolen from Busch Wildlife Sanctuary just days apart

JUPITER, Fla-- First turtles. Now a baby alligator. They were all stolen from the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter. Both crimes happened just days apart.

That alligator was stolen Tuesday afternoon. According to employees at the sanctuary, someone cut a hole into the cage, reached in and grabbed the gator. The employees say that's the same exact method used to steal 4 turtles just days before.

"When someone does something like that, when they steal an animal you don't know what their intentions are," said the sanctuary's executive directory David Hitzig. "It was very frustrating."

For Hitzig, this was dejavu from Friday. That is when 4 turtles, 3 of which were gopher tortoises, part of a protected species, the other, a box turtle, were stolen from their enclosure.

Who ever did that, also cut holes into the cage.

"It's very very suspicious that the two scenarios are almost identical to one another," said Hitzig.

FWC and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office are investigating both cases. Hitzig say he does have security cameras on his property.

Thankfully the turtles were recovered.

"There's a suspect involved in that particular case. We do have our turtles back, and legally that's being processed through the system."

However, the stolen gator is still missing.

It's not clear if authorities believe the two crimes are connected.

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