A Texas man who allegedly tried to steal a shark was recently released on bond. Police filed state felony theft charges, and he is expected to face federal charges as well. Two other individuals were involved in the incident, although neither has been charged.
Police claim that the 38-year-old man removed a gray horn shark from its tank at an aquarium, placed a blanket around it and then placed it into a baby carriage. Staff noticed that water was dripping from the stroller as the man and two other people left, and they followed the three into the parking lot. They asked to look inside of the stroller, but the three adults insisted that they could not stop as they were leaving to get medication for their baby. Staff then reviewed security footage and discovered images that seemed to show the man in question removing the shark from the tank.
Authorities were able to track down the man through his license plate number, and asked if they could look at his home with one caveat -- if he said no, they would come back with a search warrant. Reportedly, he let police into his home, where they found a small, personal aquarium containing a horn shark. Although he tried to show the present officers a doctored receipt for its purchase, he allegedly admitted to taking the shark. There was no indication he planned to sell the shark, but had instead wanted to replace his own horn shark that had died a short while ago.
The Texas aquarium valued the shark at around $3,000, and as such the defendant is facing felony theft charges for property worth between $2,500 and $30,000. On its own the shark is only worth around $2,000, but the aquarium insisted its investment bumps its value. Since felony charges tend to have more serious consequences than misdemeanors, defendants are well advised to begin their criminal defense preparations in as timely a manner as possible.