COLUMBIA, Tenn. -
Authorities in Maury County are investigating a fishy mystery where thieves have stolen thousands of dollars in catfish from a popular lake only to leave the fish behind to die.
Maury County sheriff's deputies told News 2 last Thursday the bandits stole 18 catfish worth approximately $500 from Uncle Al's Catfish Lake located at 2044 Hayes Denton Road in Columbia, and two other thefts were committed earlier in the week.
Al Danorovich, the owner of the catfish pond, said he lost around 75 catfish in a three-day span. The losses total $1,500.
"They're costly to buy, and we make our profit off these fish, so it hurts," said Danorovich.
Danorovich's son, Mark, spotted spotted two suspicious males on the property during the evening hours last week, including last Thursday night when they allegedly committed their last theft.
"I chased them into an upper field behind... and they jumped into a fence row into another field and I lost sight of them," said Mark Danorovich.
What makes the act so unusual, according to Danorovich, is that the thieves are leaving the catfish behind to die.
The Danorovich's family told News 2 they are concerned someone is trying to send them a message.
"We think it's a vendetta against us as a business that we need to either stop running our business or they're going to continue what they're doing," said Mark Danorovich.
Anyone with information about the catfish theft is urged to call the Maury County Sheriff's Department at (931) 380-5733.