A man is on the run after stealing crabs from a popular seafood market in Morro Bay.
At least 15 live crabs were taken from the crab tank outside Giovanni's Fish Market over the weekend and it was all caught on video.
Owner Giovanni DeGarimore says when he got the call from the alarm company just before 3:45 a.m. on Saturday, he thought it was a false alarm.
"I pulled up the camera on my phone and sure enough I saw this gate was open about a foot and I was like, 'Oh my!'" DeGarimore explained.
In a matter of about eight minutes, a masked man opened the gate to the tank with bolt cutters and removed 15 to 20 crabs. He loaded them into a bucket and then into his car.
"It felt very personal," DeGarimore said. "It was sad. It was disheartening."
He says it looked like the man knew what he was doing.
"To be able to take two and put them in your car like this, it takes some skill. If you get anywhere on the wrong part of the business end here, they'll break your finger," DeGarimore said.
He says the thief took off with a few hundred dollars worth of the shellfish currently going for $19 a pound.
"The fisherman are not catching a lot. I just unloaded a boat this morning and he only had 387 pounds which is dismal. You know, they like to come in at 3, 4-thousand pounds," DeGarimore explained.
He posted the footage on Facebook and as of Monday afternoon, it had more than 17,000 views.
For those of you who didn't hear Giovanni's Fish Market was Robbed on April 3rd at 3 Am. Please look at the video and...Posted by Giovanni's Fish Market on Monday, April 5, 2021
"It's been really nice and heartwarming to have people call and stop by and leave notes. 'Hey, I saw the car here. Here's the license plate number.'"
The getaway car is a 1990s to early 2000s Toyota but the color is not clear because it was nighttime video. It's also missing the hubcap on the front passenger side wheel."
The police department is following leads while the community is facing an uptick in more unique types of burglaries.
"These are the catalytic converters, a subject entering a crab tank to steal crabs," said Commander Amy Watkins of the Morro Bay Police Department.
The owner of Giovanni's Fish Market says that the last time someone broke into their business was about three to four years ago, adding that it's not the first time the crab tank was targeted.