3 boys caught on video stealing box turtles from nature preserve

UPDATE (CBS46) -- The executive director of Autrey Mill Nature Preserve, Lizen Hayes, told CBS46 News that the turtles have returned to the preserve safely early Tuesday evening. 


JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (CBS46) — The Autrey Mill Nature Preserve is seeking the public's help in finding three boys accused of taking five box turtles out of their enclosure.

Video surveillance appears to show the boy removing the turtles from the nature preserve. Autrey Mill says the man seen in the red shirt is a volunteer who was feeding chickens at the time of the theft and is not considered a suspect in this case.
"You see in the corner of the camera, them grabbing the turtles and putting them in the bucket," said Executive Director of the preserve, Lizen Hayes.  "We see them on later cameras walking around the visitor's center with the bucket and then we see them go off camera."
Hayes says they just want their five turtles back safely. "We're hoping they're okay, that they're healthy. We just want them back. These turtles belong to not just Autrey Mill but the community at large."
In Georgia, you need a license to keep a box turtle. Without a license, you could face a citation from DNR.
Johns Creek Police investigators are reviewing the videos at the preserve and hope you can identify the suspects, who they believe are teenagers.
"The charges that we're looking at are felony theft by taking. Each turtle is valued at 200 dollars and there's five of them so that's a thousand dollars and a hundred to three hundred in property damage," said Captain Todd Hood with the department. "If these are your kids, come forward with them."

If you have any information regarding the identity of the boys please contact Johns Creek Police Investigator Bucki at 678-474-1579 or rbucki@johnscreekga.gov.


Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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