A shark stolen from the San Antonio Aquarium on Saturday has since been safely returned, according to multiple reports.
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.
Jenny Spellman, the aquarium's general manager, said suspects put the animal in a bucket that had a bleach solution
, which could have damaged the shark's system. She said she went out to the parking lot after an employee noticed the trio in the back room, but one of the suspects said his son was sick and needed to leave. That suspect drove away, leaving the other two suspects behind.
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."
"When we first got the call, we thought it was kind of a hoax
being that it was Shark Week last week," Salvaggio said. "But it turns out someone actually went inside the aquarium there in Leon Valley and stole a horn shark."
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.
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.