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Man arrested for stealing swan eggs | Crime

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Man arrested for stealing swan eggs
Crime

Lakeland, Florida -- Police say they've made an arrest after dozens of swan eggs were stolen from several Lakeland parks.

60-year-old Marcellino Rodriguez is allegedly behind at least two of the eggnappings. After being questioned by detectives, Rodriguez reportedly confessed to swiping the eggs about a week earlier from a nest on the north side of Lake Wire. He told police he didn't know he was not allowed to take them.

Rodriguez was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of petit theft.

Read: Marcellino Rodriguez's arrest affidavit

City officials think about 40 eggs total have been stolen over the last several weeks. Profit could be the motive for many of the thefts; Lakeland city spokesman Kevin Cook says swan eggs sell for about $150 and swan babies, or cygnets, go for $300.

In Rodriguez's case however, the motive appears to be much less lucrative: a witness told police she saw the suspect scramble and eat the eggs at his home.

It's not clear if Rodriguez was involved with any of the other egg thefts.  Police have stepped up patrols around Lake Morton and Lake Wire.

The city's symbol is a swan, and there are about 60 of the birds living along area lakes.

Crime

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