Safe containing $2K from livestock auction stolen from Lake Co. Animal Services

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A break-in and burglary at Lake County Animal Services came hours after the agency had a farm animal auction., Channel 9 has learned.

Over the weekend, livestock was auctioned off, which brought in more than $2,000.

"This auction had been scheduled for quite some time, and there were a lot of people who were aware of this auction taking place," said Lt. John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said the cash was locked in the shelter's small safe but when employees returned to work, they found a screen door cut open, another door broken open and the safe stolen.

Detectives lifted fingerprints off the door and found blood on the scene. DNA tests are underway, authorities said.

Officials said the idea of the robbery being an inside job has not been ruled out.

"The detectives are looking at some people who had been recently let go from Animal Services and following up on some leads they've established," said Herrell.

Some believe the break-in was almost too easy because deputies said a metal door the thieves came through was left open to allow better ventilation through the shelter.  Only the screen door was locked. 

The shelter is set to be taken over by the Lake County Sheriff's Office, and officials said these kinds of crimes won't happen under their watch.

Sheriff Gary Borders will possibly install more security cameras.

"He's looking at two issues already: the security of the facility and how to improve ventilation without sacrificing that security," said Herrell.

To donate to Lake County Animal Services, visit their website.