Insectarium CEO: Surveillance Video Shows Former Employees Stealing Thousands Of Insects, Small Reptiles

Posted at 1:25 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 15:25:09-04

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    PHILADELPHIA (KYW-TV) — There’s new surveillance video in the theft of insects and small reptiles in Northeast Philadelphia.

Authorities are looking through surveillance tape and are interviewing five former employees. The Insectarium CEO says this was an inside job and he wants his former employees to step forward.

“Give it back. This is not over until we get those creatures back,” said CEO John Cambridge.

Cambridge says former employees stole 7,000 live insects and small reptiles from the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion two weeks ago.

“We know exactly who did it. We have them on camera doing it. We know where the critters were taken,” he told KYW’s David Spunt.

Cambridge says he’s working with police and he’s pointing the finger at five former employees. He says the new surveillance video shows the employees taking spiders and other small insects out of their habitats, and it happened in the middle of the day.

The camera eventually captures the employees loading the insects into cars. Cambridge said their goal is to make money off the stolen insects.

“If they piecemeal sell it, they’ll get about $40,000,” explained Cambridge.

Philadelphia police detectives have been interviewing potential suspects. Cambridge thanks the department for the help and now he’s hoping that hard word leads to arrests and, more importantly, the return of the insects.

“Insects are the foundation of all terrestrial ecosystems,” said Cambridge.

Cambridge added he’s overwhelmed from the support he’s getting from around the world, including donations.

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Steve Fink