ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The search and rescue of a stolen tortoise has led police across state lines, to uncover more stolen items.
Joshua McCarty-Thomas and his wife Dashae McCarty-Thomas are accused of stealing endangered tortoises from a St. Augustine zoo. They’re also accused of stealing prized books from St. Petersburg and expensive comic books from Ocala and Indiana.
The slow and careful process of recovering stolen items from a St. Petersburg home continues as police navigate the complexity of a case that continues to unfold.
“It’s just a very painstaking operation at this point,” said Ken Knight, public information specialist at the St. Petersburg Police Department. “This investigation has different prongs that we’re looking at. It’s going to take our officers and investigators a while to go through everything.”
A police report shows dozens of stolen comic books belong to the Hall of Heroes Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. The owner found the comic books on eBay and bought them from the site. The stolen books were shipped from the couple’s home in St. Petersburg.
“When a comic book goes missing everyone finds out about it,” said Dino Leto, director of Agents of Slabs.
Agents of Slabs specializes in grading the authenticity of comic books.
“There were some pretty substantial Golden Age books stolen that’s worth tens of thousands of dollars if not more,” said Leto. “This is a very substantial theft.”
The key Marvel classics that went missing were published between 1930 and 1950.
Leto says they likely had a serial number that’s stored in a database, but thieves still try to steal comic books with hopes of making a profit.
“He probably visited the museum and did a case job,” said Leto. “That’s classic crime 101. Any Batman villain would do that before they executed the action. Given time good will triumph in the end.”