ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Today, St. Petersburg detectives arrested Joshua McCarty-Thomas, 46, for stealing rare books and rare reptiles.
Detectives are currently serving a search warrant on McCarty-Thomas’ home at 2435 10th St. S., St. Petersburg, and found two rare tortoises.
One was alive in the yard, and the other carcass was in the freezer. This scene is expected to be active for several hours, police say.
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McCarty-Thomas is charged with stealing the endangered Galapagos Tortoises from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine, FL, on November 30, 2022.
FWC officials verified the tortoises’ chips as those stolen last November. The juvenile tortoises are each worth approximately $10,000. Once grown, these giant reptiles can reach 600 lbs. and live 150 years.
St. Augustine Police is the charging agency in that case.
Also, McCarty-Thomas is charged in two commercial burglaries in St. Petersburg:
- The theft of rare books worth thousands of dollars from Haslam’s Book Store, 2025 Central Avenue, on December 16th, 2022.
- The theft of rare books worth thousands of dollars from Lighthouse Books, 1735 1st Avenue North, on October 15th, 2019.
- There is also a warrant for his arrest in the commercial burglary of a store in Ocala, where valuable comic books worth thousands of dollars were stolen.
Other cases are pending, police say.
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