St. Pete man stole Galapagos tortoises, police say
Police have charged a St. Petersburg man with stealing endangered Galapagos tortoises from a zoological park in St. Augustine as well as rare books and collector comic books via burglary heists from stores in St. Petersburg and Ocala.
St. Petersburg police raided the home of Joshua Troy McCarty-Thomas, 46, near Lake Maggiore on May 16.
Police say McCarty-Thomas stole two juvenile Galapagos tortoises from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park on Nov. 30. The St. Petersburg Police Department said the tortoises are worth $10,000 as juveniles, can reach as much as 600 pounds, and live 150 years.
SPPD officers found one of the rare reptiles in the yard of the house while other had died and its carcass was found in the freezer of the home near 10th Street South and 24th Avenue South.
McCarty-Thomas is also charged with stealing “rare books worth thousands of dollars” from Haslam’s Book Store in December 2022 and Lighthouse Books in October 2019.
SPPD said police in Ocala have a warrant out for McCarty-Thomas for allegedly stealing “valuable comic books” via a burglary of a store.
McCarty-Thomas was arrested May 16 and faces burglary and dealing in stolen property charges, according to Pinellas County jail records.
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