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Critter Kidnapping: Baltimore Kids Charged in Unique Theft Case

Last weekend, a Baltimore nature center lost some of its wild treasures to two different break-ins. Curiously, no money was stolen. No valuable equipment was stolen. What was taken? According to reports, six turtles, two geckos, one iguana, a Madagascar hissing cockroach and two chameleons were missing from the Carrie Murray Nature Center.

When a mother of two boys, 11 and 14, found the surprising collection of critters with her children, she did not hesitate to contact authorities. Before that point, sources say that area police believed the exotic animals had been stolen by a nature center employee. But that assumption was incorrect, and now two boys face charges of theft.

The various creatures have been returned to their home at the nature center. Reports do not indicate that the boys harmed or planned to harm the animals, but being away from their controlled environments at the center, however, was a danger to the creatures within itself. Fortunately, all animals are reportedly in good condition.

Why exactly the two suspects committed the property crime has not been disclosed. Because the suspects are both minors, much about them and the case will be kept private. Authorities have reported that witnesses saw two children walking into the family's apartment building, carrying multiple cages. Also, reports say that those who broke into the nature center did so by turning off the alarm system, which is likely why investigators believed it was a facility employee.

It has been disclosed that the boys will be tried as juveniles, and when more information develops about the theft case, we will be sure to post an update.

Source "Turtles, geckos, a roach: Kids arrested in heist," 18 Nov. 2010

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