Critters, cash taken from store
Pet’s Discount alerts customers to stolen goods and personal information
Pet's Discount Warehouse officials are asking Oahu pet stores and the public to be on the lookout for someone selling stolen animals after a theft at their Salt Lake store this weekend.
Besides about $15,000 in cash and checks, the burglar or burglars took 12 rabbits, several finches and an exotic tortoise worth about $100.
The suspect apparently killed two finches and broke the back of a guinea pig while attempting to remove the animals from their cages.
"It looks like someone who may have an outlet (to sell the animals)," said Pet's Discount Chief Operating Officer Ricky Baker. "That's part of the reason we want to get this word out."
The incident happened between the time the store closed at 8 p.m. Saturday and when it opened about 8:30 yesterday morning, Baker said.
He said the checks stolen were from customers who purchased items Friday at the Salt Lake store, located at 4384 Malaai St., along with Pet's Discounts in Hawaii Kai, Kaneohe and Waikele.
Baker is working with police to determine whether identity theft is a concern, and customers whose checks were stolen will be notified so they can monitor their accounts.
Much of the cash and checks were stored in a safe on the store's second floor. The safe had been opened with a crowbar, as had three office doors.
Also stolen were cash from locked registers, one computer and two computer monitors, which were in locked offices, and frozen fish food from a freezer.
"It's a shock," Baker said, standing outside the store yesterday and shaking his head.
The 12 Holland lap rabbits stolen were in an open cage on the store's first floor. They cost $39.95 each.
Other, less expensive rabbits were left untouched.
The suspect also broke a glass cage to steal an expensive sulcata tortoise. And locks to the finches' bird cage were cut.
Baker said at least two of the birds are gone.
Store employees are keeping an eye on the guinea pig with the broken back, and Baker said it will likely have to be euthanized.
There is some speculation that the suspect could have been a former employee, Baker said, adding that the thief knew to cut the store's phone wires in order to partly disable its alarm system.
When the alarm is tripped, he said, the alarm company is called. Without phone service the company had no clue a theft was happening at the store.
It is unknown whether the store's alarms sounded, but they were not on when the manager arrived yesterday morning.
This is the first burglary at any of Pet's Discount's stores. In the past, Baker said, they have only ever had to contend with shoplifting.