PLYMOUTH (CBS) –A business owner in Plymouth is offering a reward to catch the thief who he said stole 100,000 oyster seeds from his company.
“I’d like to catch them. This isn’t the first time this has happened,” said Don Wilkinson of Ichabod Flat Oysters.
On a late November afternoon, Wilkinson is bringing in the fruits of his labor: oysters harvested from the bay in Plymouth.
They are baby oysters, still growing, and eventually, they will be ready for sale. But Wilkinson said he has victimized by someone who went out into the water and stole a huge number of his developing oysters.
“I went to go put the bags on the bottom and I realized all the cages were empty. So somebody had come in that two-week interval and had taken about 100,000 oysters,” he said.
The seedlings were worth about $10,000. At maturity, the oysters from those seeds would be worth more than $40,000.
Wilkinson thinks the culprit was able to get out to the oysters by boat.
Oystering can be very hard work, which is one of the reasons why Wilkinson is so upset. He is offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps nail the oyster thief.
In the meantime, the 76-year-old will continue to farm the ocean. Environmental police are investigating.