|Updated: 7/25/2012 9:24 am
||Published: 7/24/2012 8:15 pm
A bizarre string of thefts are happening again in Green Country.
Desirable fish, such as Koi, are being scooped out of garden business ponds.
"We keep adding security measures but they only come and take the big fish," said Thompson’s General Store owner Stevie Thompson.
On Monday, Thompson noticed things were out of place in the back near the Koi pond in Owasso.
In May, thieves stole more than $4,000 worth of Koi from a Bixby business and another business in Owasso.
The water is quiet and much more spacious since the swimming buddies of the smaller Koi vanished.
“The butterfly fish were huge and unusual colors,” said Thompson.
Koi are known for their distinctive colors and patters. Two were white and yellow and the other was black and white with orange. They were two feet, 18 inches and 14 inches long.
"If the predators don't see the fish they don't try and get them,” said Thompson.
She was talking about protecting the fish from critters but the other critters are humans.
One or two thieves made off with $700 worth of Koi from the pond in the back of the business.
Thompson has had her store for 22 years and she knows when a thief is responsible for her missing Koi.
"I had just gotten the fish in the last two weeks, which tells me that there is someone out here checking it out when we get big fish,” said Thompson.
"I come over here and go 'all of the fish gone’,” said Thompson.
She immediately got on the phone with Hardscapes in Bixby. In May, its Koi were targeted. Thieves got away with one that was $4,000 and decades old.
"’Hey you need to watch out. They are back on track and they're looking again,’" said Thompson.
The owner of Hardscapes told FOX23 News the Koi still haven’t been found.
Obviously there’s a black market for Japan’s sacred fish and the bigger the fish the more expensive.
"People that are Koi aficionados they know about the color and the pattern. Someone that knows enough about fish to come in and steal a fish they are stealing is obviously someone who has a working knowledge of fish that are worth money,” said Thompson.
Law enforcement told FOX23 News these thefts were odd. Thompson believes it could possibly be landscapers selling stolen Koi to customers or there are Koi smugglers.
"It's very possible that they are putting them in containers and driving straight to the airport and shipping them,” said Thompson.
It’s not the money that worries Thompson.
"Where did they go? Are they alive? Are they okay? That's really frustrating. There is a lot of anxiety,” said Thompson. "It's God's creature and it's my responsibility to take care of them."
Thompson said they are tightening security. She believes if she saw her Koi she would be able to recognize them.
She said it takes years for Koi to grow. The larger ones are more expensive.
If you have any information about the Koi thefts call your local law enforcement agency.