Reward doubled in sea turtle nest vandalism case
The stakes are back where they belong, but who did it remains a mystery.
"It is frustrating," said Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer.
It has been nearly two weeks and Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach Police are working to identify a man and woman they say purposely ran over five sea turtle nests and two shore birds in an ATV. Between 500-600 turtle eggs may have been in those nests.
"We are getting tips in every day and we are following up on those tips," said Chief Tokajer.
Police appear to be getting close.
"Quite a few of those tips have sent us in the same direction after the same people so we are trying to get some hard evidence that will allow us to go forward with a prosecution," said Chief Tokajer.
Three agencies are working together to figure out who ran over the sea turtle nests, but police are still asking for the public's help.
They said any new information will lead to a quicker arrest.
"There are people that know what is going on. Nobody is a quiet criminal. Nobody keeps the information on what they have done and pretty soon somebody will tell someone," said Chief Tokajer.
What they have done is outraged the community, which continues to increase the reward. It started with a $2,500 dollar contribution from the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch.
Crime Stoppers chipped in $1,000 dollars along with other groups like PETA and even private citizens.
After reaching 18,000 dollars on Monday, a anonymous donor doubled the reward today. It now stands at 36,000 dollars.
Hopefully enough to get somebody to talk.
"They are not going to get away with it. We will find out who they are. We will be able to prove it was them and we will go forward with a successful prosecution," said Chief Tokajer.
Once arrested, the couple could face thousands of dollars in fines and jail time.
If you have any information you, are asked to contact the Holmes Beach Police Department at 941-708-5804, Bradenton Beach Police at 941-778-6311, or Suzi Fox with the Turtle Watch at 941-778-5638.