Rare Tortoise Thief Arrested After Alligator Farm Heist; Suspect Nabbed in St. Petersburg with One Dead, One Alive Tortoise

Law enforcement officials from two different agencies collaborated and apprehended a suspect in the November 2022 theft of rare Galapagos Tortoises from a Florida conservation facility. The tip led officers to a residence where they found one of the stolen tortoises alive and the other deceased. Joshua McCarty-Thomas has been charged with grand theft and other charges across several cities. The tortoises are estimated to cost up to $10,000 and are a part of the facility’s Species Survival Plan. The recovery of the stolen tortoises brings hope to wildlife conservationists.

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