APALACHICOLA Fla. (WMBB) — The search is on for an oyster thief in Franklin County. Over the last few days, 28 sleeves of oysters have been stolen from the Apalachicola Oyster Bay Company farm.
As of now the sheriff’s office has no suspects in this case.
The Apalachicola oysters are world renowned – everyone wants to try them.
So when the local oyster farms can no longer sell the oysters, farm manager Jimmy Lashley said it creates a problem.
“If you have 10 million and somebody steals them you wind up with only two million your business can’t survive,” said Lashley.
Lashley said the thief stole around 28 leaves of oysters from the bay which is over three thousand dollars worth of oysters the company lost.
“The reason I know that they were stolen is because they were market-ready,” said Lashley. “We keep track of them so we know how to fill our orders and if we’ve got enough oysters or not.”
Lashley said this year has already been tough due to unpredictable events and this is the last thing the business needs.
“I hope they catch them tomorrow because we can’t afford to lose no more oysters,” said Lashley.
Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith said finding the oyster thief will not be easy. He believes the person snuck out to the Eight Mile in the middle of the night where no one could see them. However, Smith said they will do all they can to find the thief.
“Somebody out there knows what’s going on, you’re not going to hide a bunch of oysters,” said Smith. “So somebody has to see it or somebody has seen it and we’re hoping they’ll do the right thing and call us.”
Since there are no leads in the case, the sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help. Smith said they are offering a 10 thousand dollar reward for anyone who can lead them to the thief.