The trio suspected of stealing the 2-foot-long (0.6 meters) shark allegedly lifted her from an open saltwater pool, an exhibit that contained several shark species that visitors are allowed to touch, KSAT12 reported.
According to the New York Post, the robbery, which took place on Saturday afternoon, was so weird local police at first thought the incident was a joke. Two men and a woman are wanted in connection with the theft. In a video, Miss Helen can be seen swimming near the surface of a large circular tank that also had an array of colorful corals inside. "She is doing good so far, and we are hopeful she will recover fully from the shock and return to her home she is used to", the aquarium wrote on Facebook. The man then disappears out of camera range with his male companion following him as the woman walks around with the baby. "They actually do very well in captivity, so they are often found in public aquariums", Texas Parks and Wildlife Science Director Michael Fisher told KENS-TV. Then they put the bucket in a baby stroller and rolled it away from the scene of the crime on Saturday afternoon, according to Salvaggio. Staff members were able to prevent serious damage, according to the aquarium.
And from there, the shark hunt was on.
Police said a mock-up aquarium was uncovered at the suspect's house.
The female shark, named Helen, thankfully survived and was brought back to the aquarium.
She added that Miss Helen will go into quarantine for an observation period to ensure that she is unharmed before being returned to the exhibit.
Salvaggio said he believed the shark had been stolen to replace one in the suspect's collection that had died, rather than to be sold on. Police chief Joseph Salvaggio said his officers had initially dismissed the call out as a hoax.
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