OUTSIDE LOS ANGELES -- A thief broke into a storage room at a local restaurant and took roughly $20,000 in dried sharks' fins -- a delicacy used in Chinese cuisine that is usually served during special occasions such as banquets and weddings.
The theft at (formerly known as Prince Seafood Restaurant), located at 11828 South St. in Cerritos, is believed to have occurred sometime during the period of Aug. 16 and Aug. 18, said Sgt. Keith Kanouse.
According to the initial burglary report, roughly $500 in computer parts were stolen during the break-in. A few days later -- most likely after inventory was taken -- the restaurant reported that two boxes full of dried sharks' fins were also missing, according to the sergeant.
"From what I understand each box of sharks' fins is worth about $10,000," said Kanouse.
Anyone with information on this burglary should call the Cerritos Sheriff's Station at (562) 860-0044.
Shark fins, which are often sold dried, cooked, or frozen, are used in Chinese cuisine -- most commonly in shark fin soup. Royal Garden Restaurant, a 12,000 sq. ft. two-story business, currently offers "braised shark fin soup" at $39.95 for a four-person serving.
2012 California Law Bans Sale/Possession of Shark Fin
Under state legislation signed into law by California Gov. Jerry Brown last October, effective at the start of 2012, restaurants are allowed to use their current supply/stock of shark fins if purchased before Jan. 1 -- after that, the possession and sale of shark fins will be illegal. Therefore, California restaurants can only continue to serve their existing stock of shark fin until July 1, 2013.
Upon approving the bill -- AB376 authored by Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Sunnyvale -- the governor said that research shows that some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent, posing a threat to the balance of the marine ecosystem as well as the state of commercial fishing.
"The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping (the carcass) back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans," Brown said.
California joins Hawaii, Washington and Oregon in banning shark fin sales.* Keep up-to-date on all Cerritos-Artesia crime, news, alerts and events by “liking” us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.