(CBS) — It has been a year and a half since a McHenry man found tens of thousands of dollars in cash in his garden; and as he and two other people wind their way through the courts to claim it, one of them is telling more about how he lost thousands of dollars – instead of a bug.

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WBBM’s Steve Miller explains, early in the morning of September 13, 2010, Naperville liquor store owner Basim Esmail was taking the day’s proceeds out to his car.

He had a box filled with cash. Walking beside him was an employee with another box; a decoy box. Inside that box: a praying mantis. Esmail picked it up earlier that day as a pet.

But the armed robber who approached Esmail and his employee wasn’t fooled. He went for the box with the cash.

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“I wish he would’ve taken the box with the praying mantis, instead of my box. We could’ve found another praying mantis somewhere,” Esmail said.

Esmail thinks the money Wayne Sabaj found in his garden in McHenry in August 2011 might be his stolen cash.

Lawyers are still taking depositions in the case.

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Esmail said there’s a $51,000 reward for information about his stolen money.