A female horn shark was successfully rescued by police Monday night after thieves stole her from the San Antonio Aquarium in Texas Saturday. Two men and a woman can be seen on security footage at the aquarium removing the shark — whose name is Miss Helen, by the way — from her tank, wrapping her in a blanket, placing her in a baby stroller and rolling her away.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 31, 2018
In a statement to media, the San Antonio aquarium said that the thieves also “poured [a] bucket of bleach solution that employees used for the disinfection of tools into our cold water exhibit filtration system, causing harm to other wildlife” and then used that bucket to transport Miss Helen out of the building. Thankfully, the staff noticed the levels of bleach in the water quickly and were able to prevent too much damage to the animals and call the police to find Miss Helen.
Authorities originally thought the aquarium’s call was a hoax since it was during the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, but they were soon on the case and able to locate the thieves by tracing the vehicle in which they left the scene.
When they apprehended the first suspect Monday, Police Chief Salvaggio said that they don’t believe the group had intentions of selling Miss Helen. The suspect, Anthony Shannon, seemingly wanted to add the shark to his collection.
“It was something he wanted, he had one of these in the past,” Salvaggio said, “He had one that passed away.”
— Michelle Broder Van Dyke (@MBVD) July 31, 2018
“The individual obviously had some knowledge on how to deal with these types of animals, we said that from the very beginning, otherwise why take it? And when we got into the garage and into the house, it looked like almost a mockup of [the aquarium],” Salvaggio elaborated, “He had a lot of different marine animals in the home. [He] very much knew what he was doing — kept that animal alive and was able to continue to see that animal thrive which was pretty shocking to all of us.”
Shannon was processed Monday and the other two suspects are still wanted in connection with the heist. The woman in the video is known to police, but has not yet been arrested because she has young children. Shannon is charged with felony theft $2,500 – $30,000.
As for Miss Helen, she is doing much better than the aquarium staff thought she would be. Since she was transported in a bucket that had been holding bleach, staff were concerned the chemicals would shock her system and possibly kill her. According to authorities, the shark seems to be completely fine and is currently being kept in quarantine for observation.
— San Antonio Aquarium (@SAAquarium) July 31, 2018