POLK COUNTY -- Deputies are on the lookout for three men who broke into a warehouse in Winter Haven and stole $271,000 worth of king crab legs.
Authorities arrested 29-year-old Joshua Warner after they say the warehouse worker left the door unlocked in order to allow the burglars inside.
Surveillance video captured the moments the three masked men entered the warehouse and started piling the crab onto forklifts, and into a semi-truck waiting outside the building.
"This is definitely highly orchestrated. These guys know their way in and around this warehouse," said Carrie Horstman, spokesperson for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Bradenton Herald
King crab sells for somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 per pound, meaning the team got away with about 10 tons of crab.
"They obviously had a large transport vehicle they were putting this stuff into. They've taken it somewhere, they've probably sold it to someone already," Horstman said.
Warner, the man who was arrested and charged with cargo theft, said he locked the door and told police he did not unlock it.
"I have no idea how it happened. All I know is I did not unlock that door," Warner said.
Deputies arrested Warner after they say he had several inconsistencies in his story, and even told deputies he would wear a wire to help catch the men. He then backed off that story, according to an arrest report.
"I've never stolen anything, haven't even thought about stealing anything from these people," Warner told Bay News 9.
Warner is suspended without pay pending the results of the investigation.
"When the truth comes out, I'll be expecting apologies from everybody," Warner said.
Warner faces a judge in June to answer to the charges.Deputies say if you have any information on the burglary, contact Crimestoppers.