Sea Land Distributors is a family-owned business that dates back for more than three decades. It's a simple business. They distribute fresh frozen seafood to local restaurants. Today, the owners walked in to find a hole in the wall of their Allapattah-area warehouse. During the night someone had smashed through the concrete and stolen $30,000 worth of frozen fish product right out of the freezer.
"You would have to actually walk into the freezer to be able to see that it was broken into," co-owner Gudila Diaz told WSVN. "Over 100 cases of different items of seafood. Lobster meat, shrimp, breaded shrimp, crawfish, mahi fillets."
Friday is the day that the company distributes fish to restaurants for the weekend ahead. Diaz said they're already replacing the stash, and hope to make all scheduled deliveries by the end of the day. However, the company wasn't insured for the loss. The damage caused to the store and freezer will cost about $5,000 to $10,000.
Though, it begs the question as to what exactly the thieves plan to do with $30,000 worth of frozen lobster and shrimp.
You steal dry good, electronics, non-perishable items, you can scratch some serial numbers off, ship it on down to a foreign country or some-such and make yourself a nice profit. You can take some time doing so too, if need be.
But frozen seafood? Well, you'd have to have your own freezer big enough to hold $30,000 worth of ocean-fare, or else your loot is going to go real bad, real fast. Even then, you can only keep it frozen for about three months, maybe six months tops. If you want to move the product somewhere else, you've got to have a refrigerated truck or shipping container handy too.
So what are you going to do to turn a profit? Sell out of your trunk? Sure, there's a market for that in Miami, we guess. Try to sell it directly to restaurants yourself? Maybe.
But now you're dealing with the fact that this news story is so strange that every major media outlet in the community is going to cover it. Someone stole $30,000 worth of seafood right out of a warehouse. Cut a hole right in the wall. How odd.
"Just goes to show you, people will steal anything is this town," people will say.
They'll post the story on their Facebook. Tweet about it. Shake their heads when they see it on the local newscasts tonight. People will go out to dinner this weekend and order the lobster or a nice grilled mahi fillet with asparagus risotto on the side and wonder out loud, "Hey, I wonder if they get this from that fish supplier that got broken into last night. Oh, you didn't hear about it? This town. I tell ya'."
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And the thieves are sitting there with $30,000 worth of perishable seafood on their hands that they better have had a good plan for. Better hope that if they try to sell it some upstanding citizen or business under odd circumstances, that no one finds it too fishy. Hoping that they don't tip anyone off that someone all the sudden just so happens to have acquired a lot of frozen seafood that they're trying to unload fast and cheap. There's a $1,000 reward out now too. What's better: cheap seafood or $1,000 worth of cash? Better have had an ingenious plan.
Just seems like such a hassle. Frozen food theft. It was so easy to break into that place, but that's only because not so many people try to break in and steal bulk amounts of frozen seafood all the time. There's a reason for that.
If you happen to have any information about this theft and would like to collect that possible $1,000 reward, please get in contact with Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.