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Shark stolen in a baby stroller found

July 31, 2018

The thieves disguised the shark as a baby wrapped in a blanket and wheeled it out of the aquarium in a stroller. But thanks to an alert staff member, the horn shark — called Miss Helen — is back in its petting tank.

A still from a surveillance video showing the suspects inside the San Antonio Aquarium in Texas.
Image: San Antonio Aquarium

A shark stolen from the San Antonio Aquarium in Texas in a baby stroller on Saturday has been found and is back in its petting tank.

Police have obtained confessions from two of the men involved and are ascertaining whether the thieves could be charged under federal laws.

"She is back home, where she belongs! Sharknapping: Unsuccessful! Welcome home Miss Helen!" San Antonio Aquarium said on its Facebook page.

Surveillance video showed two men and a woman grab the shark — called Miss Helen — from the aquarium's tide pool using their own net while the attendant was assisting other guests, the aquarium said in statement.

The suspects then took the nearly 3-foot-long (91 centimeters) gray horn shark into one of the aquarium's filter rooms, where they endangered other animals by emptying a bucket full of bleach in the exhibit's filtration system.

The shark was then wrapped in a wet blanket and put in the bucket and wheeled out in a stroller.

An aquarium employee suspicious of the trio's behavior immediately alerted the aquarium's general manager, Jenny Stellman, Washington Post newspaper reported.

Stellman apprehended one of the suspects in the parking lot, who refused to allow her to search his vehicle and drove off, the newspaper said.

Suspects' home replete with marine life

Police tracked down the pickup truck on Monday evening.

Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio in the San Antonio suburb of Leon Valley said the suspects maintained an extensive collection of marine animals in their home, which almost seemed like a mock-up of the San Antonio Aquarium.

Salvaggio said the men confessed to the shark snatching. The investigators plan to interrogate the woman on Tuesday.

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Ashutosh Pandey
Ashutosh Pandey Business editor with a focus on international trade, financial markets and the energy sector.@ashutoshpande85