Man charged after stealing shark

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A man who allegedly picked a shark out of its tank and smuggled it out of the shop has been arrested in Nassau county in New York.

Elbert Starks, 30, from Freeport is being dubbed a serial fish thief after he is alleged to have gone on a shopping spree for his aquarium giving himself ~the five-fingered discount .

Investigators believe that his fishy crimes began on December 12 when he walked into a pet shop and walked out with a foot long nurse shark worth $350 under his coat. He then drove home and put the shark into his 946 litre/250 US gallon aquarium.

A few weeks later he is claimed to have visited another pet shop and taken a cashier's wallet that was resting on the side. That afternoon the stolen credit card was used to purchase a 215 ($300) moray eel.

The following day, the pet store notified authorities that the credit card had been stolen and police detectives linked the description of the thief to that of the stolen shark suspect who struck in December.

Starks was arrested last week and the fish were confiscated and taken to a local pet shop. Although he had other fish in the tank, apparently he could produce receipts for all of them.

Starks, who is now charged with felony grand larceny and mis-demeanour petty larceny, could face up to five years in prison for this ~soleless (groan) crime.