A seafood company in Pensacola, Fla., has reported the theft of more than $20,000 worth of oysters from its property in Santa Rosa County — and they’re offering a reward for anyone who can help crack open the case.
The Pensacola Bay Oyster Co. announced the news Tuesday on social media, asking followers to “help us find” the thieves who allegedly emptied 35 mesh bags, used for growing oysters, of more than 17,000 oysters., The perpetrators then dumped the bags in the woods near the beach.
“Please be patient with us while we work with the police through this investigation. We are extremely frustrated that this event occurred and hope to get some answers!” the company wrote on social media.
On Thursday, however, the company announced that the thieves made off with far more than they initially suspected.
“After assessing the farm over the last few days and working with [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission] and the Marine Patrol we noted that while 35 bags were found emptied and thrown on the beach near our lease, an additional 37 bags are MISSING,” the company revealed on Facebook. “This is more than DOUBLE what we originally thought were stolen.”
In an update provided to Fox News, a representative for Pensacola Bay Oyster Co. estimated the loss to be "upwards of $20,000."
"We discovered after further assessing yesterday that 12 cages with 6 bags per cage were emptied on our harvest lines," Jane Lauter confirmed. "That totals 72 bags that have been taken."
“This is beyond disappointing and we are at a loss for words why someone would do something so unkind, inconsiderate and downright wrong," the company wrote in Thursday's Facebook post.
Pensacola Bay Oyster Co. also thanked its local supporters for their concern, saying it would take additional security measures to prevent something like this from happening in the future.
“We will overcome because we won’t let someone like this bring us down EVER!” the Facebook post stated.