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‘An all-time low:’ Parents, son identify tortoise theft suspect after watching him on FOX6 News

Gary Kaczynski

WEST ALLIS -- A man's mother, father and his own young son say they saw the man stealing five baby tortoises from Pet World in West Allis while watching our report on FOX6 News. They said when they saw the surveillance video on the news, the suspect's coat, hat and neck tattoo made it immediately clear to them who it was. They said they called the police in an effort to save his life.

It's important to point out, the suspect in this case has not been formally charged, but his mother and stepfather told FOX6 News on Monday, March 12 Gary Kaczynski stole the five baby Sulcata tortoises to pay for drugs.

FOX6 News on Tuesday, March 6 aired the surveillance video showing the man stealing the tortoises valued at $900 in all from the Pet World store near 108th and Oklahoma. The Bruton family was watching the news at home when they saw the video.


Anita Bruton

"It's hard watching your kid do that," said Anita Bruton, Gary Kaczynski's mother.

Bruton said her son, 32, is the man police were looking for.

"We knew he had been stealing, but when you make the news -- that's an all-time low," said Bruton.

They said they immediately recognized Kaczynski due to his red jacket, hat and neck tattoo. His stepfather, Thomas Bruton called police right away. It was a bold move, not only for justice, but also in an effort to keep Kaczynski off of heroin.

Thomas Bruton

"He's going to probably hate me for it. Probably going to be really upset, but the bottom line is -- I actually care," said Thomas Bruton.

Also watching the news that night was Kaczynski's son, Kaleb, 7.

"Stop keep on doing this, and like, next time I see you on TV or you go to jail, I'm going to be so mad at you," said Kaleb Kaczynski.

Kaleb Kaczynski

At the young age of seven, Kaleb said his father has been in jail five times since he's been born. Waukesha County officials issued a bench warrant for his arrest for a retail theft there.

The family said they're praying this will be the wake-up call he needs to stay clean and get his life in order.

"I hope you learned your lesson, and I hope you come around," said Anita Bruton.

Kaczynski is being held at the Milwaukee County Jail, awaiting formal charges.

As for those five baby tortoises, they have not been recovered, and Kaczynski's family members said they're not sure what happened to them.