Over the last year or so, we’ve seen an increased amount of reports on people stealing from aquarium stores. Whether these increased illegal activities are a response to economic issues, hobbyists looking to exact revenge on a particular store, or people with intense aquatic addictions that just don’t know how to cope, the stores suffer from livestock and equipment losses that surpass $20,000 in some cases. And regardless of the monetary amount of the damage, the negative impact can be long lasting. The latest two robberies to rock the aquarium world come from Buffalo fish store A Reef Creation and Houston-based Aquarium Design Group.
In a recent Advanced Aquarist story, two males in their mid-twenties broke into New York-based aquarium store A Reef Creation in the early morning hours of January 2nd and stole more than $20,000 worth of cash, equipment, and livestock. The two men started their robbery by breaking in through the front door and quickly nabbing drygoods located on shelves near the front of the store. After getting all they could carry, the robbers quickly left, only to return a little while later to continue grabbing what they couldn’t get the first trip. They were seen on infrared cameras navigating the store with cell phone illuminating the way, all the while tossing corals into buckets and stealing a significant amount of cash from the register on their way out.
Our second fish store thievery story hits a bit closer to home, as it occurred at Aquarium Design Group located right here in Houston, Texas. During the annual holiday party of the local aquarium club the Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston (MARSH), which is hosted by ADG, some brazen bandit made off with a handful of mangrove propagules that were hand picked by an ADG employee during a trip to Florida. While we realize the theft of these propagules pails in comparison to the theft that took place at A Reef Creation, the fact is a member of the club stole something from the company that graciously opened its doors to host a club event. Even though the financial value of the propagules is minuscule, the impact that the theft could have might be far more significant, as ADG might close off its doors to the club and stop offering to host events. ADG has taken the high ground and promises they won’t hold the entire club responsible for one person’s actions, but imagine if they weren’t so forgiving.