The Leon Valley Police Department said two men and a woman stole a 1-and-a-half-foot horn shark from the local aquarium, disguising it as a baby.
Police chief Joseph Salvaggio said the shark was in an open pool where visitors are allowed to reach in and pet the animals. One of the men grabbed the shark by the tail while the other man and the woman wrapped it in a wet blanket, took it into a back room to put it in a bucket and then put the bucket into a stroller.
Police were able to identify the license plate and tracked down who drove away with the horn shark. Anthony Shannon, 38, was arrested Monday night and has since been charged with felony theft $2,500-$30,000. His bond is set at $10,000.
Salvaggio said the other two suspects will be "charged at large."
He thinks the shark-snatching trio visited the aquarium beforehand to plan the theft. Shannon had a mockup of an aquarium in his home's garage and seemed to know how to care for marine life. Shannon told police that he had a horn shark as a pet in the past.
Shannon tried to pass the shark as his own and showed a receipt for the supposed purchase, but police determined it was fake.
The marine life found in the man's garage was left in the custody of the woman seen in the aquarium's surveillance footage. She has yet to be taken into custody since she is caring for her children. Salvaggio said he is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to see if federal charges could be filed in this case.
And yes, the shark has been safely returned to the aquarium in good health.
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