NewsTreasure CoastRegion St Lucie CountyFort Pierce


St. Lucie County man accused of storing stolen fishing gear in car with dead alligators

Posted at 7:16 AM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 18:08:15-05

Police in St. Lucie County say a man inadvertently showed an officer two dead alligators stored in the trunk of his car when he went to surrender stolen fishing gear.

According to his arrest report, 25-year-old Christian Elmore walked out of a Walmart at 5100 Okeechobee Road in Fort Pierce late Monday afternoon with the stolen gear.

Police say the store's loss prevention officer confronted him and asked him to return to the store. Elmore agreed to return the stolen items, according to his arrest report.

Police say Elmore opened the trunk of his car, revealing the stolen gear and dead alligators.

"If I could go back, I wouldn't have done it," Elmore told WPTV on Wednesday. "I would have just cut the line and let him go. The funny thing is, I did it right next to the police station. It was a pond directly next to the police station."

Elmore said he was planning to eat the alligators for dinner.

"I've cooked snake meat, I've cooked about anything. When it comes to being dead broke, you do what you got to do," said Elmore.

Elmore told WPTV he did not know capturing and killing alligators was illegal in Florida. He admitted that stealing the fishing gear from the Walmart was wrong and said he wasn't thinking clearly and wanted to get something for his 19-month-old son, but had no money.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took the dead animals.

"Next thing you know, he's telling me I got two felonies," Elmore said. "That's big. Especially with two kids, I just feel like it's going to ruin me."

Elmore was arrested is now facing two felony counts of killing or possessing alligators, as well as a petit theft charge.