WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of teens faced charges after they trespassed onto a research center in West Palm Beach.

Surveillance video showed the four suspects breaking into the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center near Port St. Lucie on August 5.

Giovanni Del Greco and Matteo Dal Vecchio, both 18, jumped over a fence with a 17 and 16-year-old to get into the lagoon.

“Anybody with half a brain knows you don’t climb a fence into the Oceanographic Center to go fishing,” said Sheriff William Snyder of Martin County said.

Officials said they were fishing for trouble after the group stole a snapper and killed a tarpon.

“People catch tarpon all the time, it’s a game fish. They’ll pop off a scale, and then release the fish gently. And in this case, they caught the tarpon, ripped the hook out with so much force that it took part of the fish’s insides out. And they just left it there to die,” Snyder said.

The 18-year-olds were arrested and all four teens were charged with burglary.

Deputies believed they were fishing at another location before they entered the center.

“There’s no nexus between them and the center. There’s no legitimate reason for them having done what they did. In reality, it was just pure meanness,” Snyder said.

Officials with the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center released a statement.

“These were not just animals– they were long-term members of our family who taught our community about wild marine creatures and how to protect them. The animals that were killed had lived with us since they were juveniles; this was their home.”

Investigators said the center has been a victim of similar break-ins in the past.

In 2015, officials found an injured nurse shark. Five years later, someone trespassed and injured a stingray and another suspect stole a margate fish.

“It appears to us, although we can’t get into their heads, but that they had every intention of killing that tarpon,” Snyder said.

The bond for each 18-year-old has been set at $175,000.

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