Author: American Military University
By PoliceOne Staff
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A man faces federal charges after police said he and two others stole a small shark from a Texas aquarium and smuggled it out in a baby stroller.
Anthony Sinclair Shannon, 38, was charged with felony theft of property valued at $2,500 to less than $30,000 on Tuesday, NBC News reported. Shannon was arrested Monday night for the heist of “Miss Helen,” a horn shark that belonged to the San Antonio Aquarium.
On Saturday, police said three thieves walked into the aquarium with a baby stroller and stole the 16-inch female shark. Surveillance video showed that the thieves snagged the shark from an interactive “touch pool” while an attendant was helping visitors.
The aquarium said the thieves then slipped into a filtered room and emptied out a beach bucket, where they placed Miss Helen and transferred her into a baby stroller. The suspects then “hurried up the stairs and out to the parking lot” and drove away.
Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio said police tracked down the getaway vehicle and found a house nearby where they recovered Miss Helen. Salvaggio said the home’s garage “looked like almost a mock-up” of the aquarium.
Jamie Shank, the aquarium’s assistant director of husbandry, said a man who she believes was involved in the heist visited the aquarium about a month ago. Shank said the man pretended to be an employee for a company that supplies the aquarium with salt.
1 of the 3 people who stole a baby shark from San Antonio Aquarium by dressing it up as a baby in a stroller turned himself in. He faces a possible $2,500 fine. (The shark is safe. Her name is Helen.) pic.twitter.com/EURdvoyJWV
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 31, 2018
She said the man claimed that the company had sent out a bad batch of salt and offered to do salt and water testing for all the aquarium’s exhibits. While the staff told the man they didn’t experience any issues with their systems, they allowed him into the aquarium to be safe.
“We believe that the root of his plan was to get a behind the scenes look so he could figure out what to steal and the best way to do it,” the aquarium wrote in a Facebook post.
Salvaggio said all three persons of interest confessed to their involvement. The chief said Shannon is the one who pulled Miss Helen from the tank. One male suspect provided a written confession, while a female suspect was expected to give a written confession as well.
The chief also said the he couldn’t substantiate the claims that Shannon was trying to sell the shark. He said Shannon appeared to just be an avid collector. Shannon was released from jail on a $10,000 bond Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the aquarium said Miss Helen is “alive and well” and said she’s a “tough little horn shark.”