The owners and employees of an Olathe aquatics store are trying to understand why someone would deliberately kill the fish and coral in four large aquariums.
Aquariums Wholesale in the Great Mall of the Great Plains is offering a $1,000 reward to catch the perpetrator.
"It was deliberate," Aquariums Wholesale's Jonny Wright explained. "They definitely knew what they were doing. They killed four tanks. We only have a handful of things left."
Wright and his boss noticed Monday that one of the tanks was cloudy and murky. They thought the water had gone bad, so they weren't too alarmed.
And then the second tank went bad, and then the third and finally the fourth. They tried to remove items, but most of the coral and the majority of the fish died. Some of the fish were so rare that they weren't for sale. The coral had taken years to cultivate.
"It just went downhill in a matter of hours," Wright said.
He believes someone entered the store while it was open and poured liquor or powdered copper into the tanks.
"They knew what they were doing and knew copper would kill the tank and they did it to all four of these tanks," he said.
The four tanks are near the front of the store and are not connected. Each saltwater tank holds 240 gallons.
The loss due to the sabotage is estimated at $20,000.
"It's pathetic that we have to deal with this. It's like someone going out to your yard and taking your dog," Wright said.
If you have any information, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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