Alleged fish thief stole from Burbank, Glendale pet shops

A man suspected of stealing fish from pet shops in Glendale and Burbank dating back to last year was arrested at his North Hollywood apartment on Tuesday, police said.

Luis Argueta, 29, was taken into custody after officers carried out a search warrant at his home in the 7600 block of North Hollywood Way, said Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

An employee at Tropical Imports, located at 1134 E. Colorado St., said Argueta entered the store and allegedly stole two pieces of live coral, one valued at $40 and the other at $100, Lorenz said. Video surveillance footage showed Argueta allegedly leaving the store without paying for the corral.

The employee reported that Argueta also stole a blue tang — a tropical fish valued at $100 — back in March.

Glendale detectives later discovered that Argueta was identified as a suspect in a similar type of burglary at Scales ‘n’ Tails, 1701 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank, Lorenz said.

A store employee there told authorities that about a month ago, the suspect came into the store and was seen standing suspiciously near one of the fish tanks, Lorenz said.

As Argueta quickly fled the store, the store worker noticed a blue tang, also valued at $100, was missing and the employee was able to get the suspect’s license plate number, Lorenz said.

Argueta also allegedly stole a $100 platinum clown fish and $40 Percula fish from the business last October, the employee told detectives.

The marine animals were not recovered because Argueta claimed they had died.


Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.


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