Police report released in Palm Beach Zoo animal theft - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Police report released in Palm Beach Zoo animal theft

By Chuck Weber - bioemail

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - New details have emerged about last week's theft of four monkeys and a parrot from the Palm Beach Zoo. So far, police have arrested a 17-year-old for the crime.

The arrest report, released Monday, indicates the suspect told police he and two friends rode their bikes to Dreher Park in West Palm Beach Wednesday night, planning on "smoking marijuana and going into the zoo". The teen said his friends had "a duffle bag with tools" on their bikes, and used bolt cutters to get in.

The 17-year-old said his friends "ended up capturing three monkeys". The teen said he was unaware of the theft of the fourth monkey and parrot or the taking of a golf cart. The arrest report says the suspects went back into the zoo a second time. The other suspects have not been arrested.

Also in the arrest report, police say, the tipster who led them to the stolen animals and suspects received text messages about his friends committing the thefts. The tipster told police he went to the home of one of his friends and saw three of the monkeys. Detectives also indicated the tipster "provided a lot of specifics about the crime, which seemed very suspicious".

Monday Keith Lovett, director of living collections at the zoo, said the four monkeys and parrot are all doing well, but are still being kept at the zoo's animal care center as a precaution.

Officers found the animals Thursday afternoon in a hot shed behind an abandoned house, only a mile or so from the zoo. Three of the monkeys were in small Tupperware containers with holes punched in the top. Zoo staffers say the animals could have died if exposed to hot conditions much longer.

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