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No arrests have been made following at least two break-ins in Morro Bay this week

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 04, 2023

No arrests have been made following at least two break-ins in Morro Bay this week.

The owner of Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley, Giovanni DeGarimore, was in his office in Morro Bay Tuesday morning when he said he noticed items missing. After checking surveillance footage, he found someone had broken in overnight.

“Everything’s usually locked up every night," said Casey Peterson, Giovanni’s Fish Market director of operations. "Our freezer right back here has a lot of our frozen seafood, crab legs, lobster tails, frozen crab.”

Peterson said a man who was driving a black SUV and wearing glasses, a baseball hat and a hoodie, entered the freezer in the back of the building where he stole thousands of dollars of seafood.

Screenshot of surveillance footage of the purported thief. The crime occurred around 11:30 p.m. Monday, May 1.

Peterson said while they don’t know who is responsible, they believe the person had information about the business.

“I can with confidence say that this person had a lot of information about our inside operations,” said Peterson.

Peterson said the freezer had been left open and unlocked the night before allowing the man to steal 70 pounds of King crab leg, with an estimated value of about $4,000. However, there were no signs of forced entry.

After loading the stolen food into the SUV, Peterson said the thief went back inside, rifled around the office for about 12 minutes and left with cash. He was also reported to have white border collies with him at the time.

Peterson wondered why someone would steal a perishable food item that is large and somewhat difficult to store.

“So are they thawing them out? Are they selling them? We have no idea what the motive was behind this or what somebody would do with that kind of product," said Peterson.

About 12 hours after the theft at Giovanni’s, another incident was reported in a Morro Bay neighborhood.

Giovanni's thief, 2023, screenshot.png
A screenshot of separate surveillance footage showing the suspected thief and their vehicle. The suspect can be seen carrying two large containers purportedly holding the stolen King crab.

“So on Tuesday, late afternoon, we had another report of a break into a vehicle,” said Tony Mosqueda, Morro Bay Police Department sergeant.

Ring camera footage showed the man believed to be responsible also looking into the windows of a nearby home.

Sergeant Mosqueda said he believed the incidents are related.

“The information that was given, the description of the subject, matched that of the description that officers saw on the surveillance video at Giovanni’s,” said Sergeant Mosqueda.

Mosqueda said that people need to remain vigilant and asked anyone with any information about these incidents to contact the police.

“We haven’t had any reports of similar incidents since, however, the subject could still be in our area or surrounding areas," said Sergeant Mosqueda.

Peterson said three other break-ins have happened at the market within the past few years, adding that the community’s support has been instrumental in identifying the suspects.

“We were able to catch all three of them, they were all charged and we were thankful that that was able to happen," said Peterson.

Giovanni’s staff encourages the community to share details about this incident on social media, as that is how they identified the suspects of the last few break-ins. Giovanni’s is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest.