Shark Stolen From Aquarium, Returned Safe and Sound

The thieves claimed they were trying to save the shark Miss Helen from unsafe conditions at a San Antonio aquarium.

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San Antonio Aquarium

In what sounds more like the plot of a comedy heist movie, a group of thieves tried in San Antonio by hiding the animal in a baby stroller. After a weekend of searching, authorities have apprehended the thieves and the shark is now safely back in her tank.

The shark heist , when two men and a woman entered the aquarium with an empty stroller. In view of the public and security cameras, one of the men scooped up a 16-inch-long horn shark, named Miss Helen, and carried her into a side room. The second man followed, and both transferred the shark into a water-filled bucket.

The two men then carried the bucket, wrapped in a towel, to the woman waiting with the stroller. They placed the bucket into the stroller and walked out the front door. An employee, alerted to suspicious activity, followed the trio into the parking lot and attempted to stop them. The police were called, and law enforment managed to track the getaway vehicle to the home of one of the suspects.

There, they found Miss Helen, alive and perfectly healthy, along with a host of other marine animals in a large holding tank. The suspect’s house was set up like a small aquarium, police said, where multiple animals, including Miss Helen, were able to survive.

Leon Valley police chief Joseph Salvaggio that the setup “looked like almost a mockup of [the aquarium]. [He] kept that animal alive and was able to continue to see that animal thrive, which was pretty shocking to all of us.”

Authorities were confused as to why the suspects would go to all the trouble of stealing this particular shark, considering the species isn’t particularly rare or expensive. However, one of the suspects, 38-year-old Anthony Shannon, says that he was concerned after learning several animals died in the San Antonio aquarium.

“I’m an activist, not a criminal,” he told local news station .

The aquarium released a statement noting that animal deaths while in captivity are not abnormal, and just an “unfortunate part of being in this business.” The aquarium’s owner was , though the investigation was dropped due to lack of evidence.

"It was wrong to just take him like that. But, at that point in time, it was just something that I had to do," Shannon said.

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