A pet store owner and his employee have been detained by police in Xuhui District following allegations that they stole 160 turtles from their competitor.
According to police, the shop owner, surnamed Jiao, held a long-standing grudge against a fellow stall-holder after multiple disputes in the pet market.
Allegedly, Jiao and his employee, surnamed Qian, hatched a plan to steal the market competitor’s turtles, leaving only a note at the scene to frame another store owner.
On March 28, the competitor reported to the police that 160 turtles of various species had been stolen from his store, worth over 200,000 yuan (US$32,300).
Upon arrival, police discovered a note left at the scene by the thieves stating, “You can call the police to catch me”, further implying that it was another stall-holder who’d stolen the poor turtles.
Police suspected Qian of the theft after checking surveillance camera footage and questioning other stall-holders.
On April 13, Qian and Jiao were held and up to 30 turtles were retrieved. The other turtles, according to the source, had been released in nearby creeks.
A sad day for Mr. Turtle man, but not as sad as the day a Dongguan fellow woke up to find 1,000 of his pet baby turtles taken by thieves.
By Freya Twigden