Heather and Steve Blessing, the owners of a Mad River Township business discovered the theft of 200 – 250 Koi and Albino Catfish on Sunday when they opened for business. The couple has owned Green Vista Water Gardens for a number of years and has never had an incident of this nature.

In an interview with the Enon Eagle, Steve explained that the fish that were taken from the sales area are between 5 to 10 inches long and consisted of butterfly and standard Japanese koi. The fish are popular with their customers at this time of year when ponds are being installed for the first time or pond owners are looking to add to their collection. The fish range in price from $20 - $80 in the retail market.

Blessing explained that anyone who may find fish of this size for sale at prices lower or in large quantities should note that the option could be too good to be true.

Also taken from the various display ponds were 12 to 24 inch fish that have been part of the collection at the business for several years. Blessing could not explain how the thieves took those fish, but it is assumed that they came prepared.

In the case of the sales area fish, Blessing suggested that it appears that the thieves broke the lock on the greenhouse where the fish are housed and then went for the higher end fish leaving behind the small ones in the crates.

When asked about the fate of the fish, Blessing noted that unless the fish were put into a “prepared environment” it is likely they did not survive. The fish cannot simply be placed in a bucket of water.

The gold, blue, red and white and other koi are beautiful and pond owners would expect to see the fish available fairly quickly. If you see an ad or hear of fish available, you are asked to contact the Clark County Sheriff’s office. Detective James Hollopeter has been assigned to the case. You can leave an anonymous tip if you do not want to give your name. The help of the entire community is needed to find the suspects.

Green Vista Water Gardens is open for business, however customers may need to be patient and wait about a week or so for stock to be replaced. Blessing would like customers to know that the full selection of pond plants, supplies and some fish are available at this time.

If you saw anything on Saturday night into early Sunday morning, please contact either the business at 324-5039 or the Clark County Sheriff's Office at 521-2050.