Two men were caught pilfering hundreds of horseshoe crabs in Jamaica Bay on Monday night, thanks to a couple of cops testing out their fancy new night vision goggles.

Robert Wolter and Joseph Knauer were nabbed after officers in a police chopper saw them loading the endangered creatures onto waiting motor boats in total darkness, the Post reports. A 30-minute chase ensued before the crab crooks were finally caught near Sheepshead Bay.

Horseshoe crabs, which weigh up to 10 pounds, net a pretty penny on the black market. Pharmaceutical companies use their blood to decontaminate medical equipment, and they also make great bait when fishing for eels and whelk! If they're not having their blood wrung from them or being used to lure other fish, they apparently also make great fertilizer.

They are, however, a protected species, which means that Wolter and Knauer could face fines up to $500 for allegedly attempting to collect the animals without proper licenses.

Mercifully, the crabs were released back into the water unharmed.