‘Give it back:’ Surveillance video shows employees stealing thousands of insects from museum

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — There’s new surveillance video in the theft of thousands of insects and small reptiles in Philadelphia.

Authorities are looking through the surveillance tape and interviewing five former employees.

The CEO of the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion said this was an inside job, and he wants his former employees to step forward.

“Give it back. This is not over until we get those creatures back,” said CEO John Cambridge.

Cambridge said former employees stole 7,000 live insects and small reptiles from the museum two weeks ago.

“We know exactly who did it. We have them on camera doing it. We know where the critters were taken,” he said.

Cambridge said he’s working with police and he’s pointing the finger at five former employees. He said the new surveillance video shows the employees taking spiders and other small insects out of their habitats, and it happened in the middle of the day.

The camera eventually captures the employees loading the insects into cars. Cambridge said their goal is to make money off the stolen insects.

“If they piecemeal sell it, they’ll get about $40,000,” explained Cambridge.

Philadelphia police have been interviewing potential suspects. Cambridge thanked the department for the help and said now, he’s hoping that hard word leads to arrests and, more importantly, the return of the insects.

“Insects are the foundation of all terrestrial ecosystems,” said Cambridge.

Cambridge added he’s overwhelmed from the support he’s getting from around the world, including donations.