BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After being robbed of nearly $2,000 worth of shrimp, a Biloxi woman and her husband are hoping the public can help police catch the thieves.
In exclusive surveillance video provided to WLOX News Now, two men can be seen boarding Anh Nguyen's boat at 11:14 p.m. on Thursday. After checking out the ice chests on the deck, the men leave.
Fifteen minutes later, the suspects return and were seen hauling away two large coolers, then loading them onto a trailered boat being pulled by a dark-colored SUV.
"Friday morning when I came out here, I noticed one area where I normally kept my shrimp coolers was empty and a sign I posted by the coolers had been thrown on the ground. That's when I told my husband, 'Oh no, we lost our shrimp,'" said Nguyen.
Nguyen says the thieves made off with 400 pounds of fresh, jumbo shrimp. At $5.00 a pound, it's a loss of about $2,000.
"I am so sad and upset because my deckhands worked so hard to harvest the shrimp," Nguyen said.
Nguyen, who has been selling shrimp at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor for 30 years, says she installed security cameras last year because shrimp bandits have hit her boat before.
However, Thursday's getaway is the first time thieves have taken entire coolers of shrimp.
"It's hard to hide the coolers, and there's supposed to be security here," Nguyen said.
The city's spokesman says slip fees do cover security.
"We provide security at all of our public harbors and marinas; we can't be everywhere all the time. It's much like somebody stealing your lawnmower out of your shed. The police can't be there all the time," said Vincent Creel.
Nguyen says she lost her first catch of the season, the two coolers and the fuel costs. Plus, she can't pay her deckhands.
"I hope the police can find the thieves so they won't steal from other people, because there are so many boats here. That's all I want," said Nguyen.
The family is offering a $500.00 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Biloxi Police Department at 228-392-0641, or the Biloxi Criminal Investigations Division at (228) 435-6112.