Accessibility links

Breaking News

Texas Police Find Shark Stolen in Baby Stroller

A video screenshot shows a man (right) holding a small shark named Miss Helen after taking it from a touch tank on July 28 at the San Antonio Aquarium.
A video screenshot shows a man (right) holding a small shark named Miss Helen after taking it from a touch tank on July 28 at the San Antonio Aquarium.
Texas Police Find Shark Stolen in Baby Stroller
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:03:13 0:00

This is What’s Trending Today…

A small shark that was stolen from an aquarium in Texas has been found and safely returned.

Miss Helen is a 40-centimeter-long gray horn shark. She spends her time in a touch tank at the San Antonio Aquarium, where visitors are permitted to touch sea creatures.

On Saturday afternoon, a group of thieves took Helen out of the tank. Then, they put the animal in a wheeled baby carrier and walked out of the aquarium before anyone noticed Miss Helen was missing.

The “great shark heist,” as people are calling it, was captured on surveillance video. The aquarium put the video on its Facebook page.

The video shows one man taking the shark out of the tank and carrying it away, off camera. A second man follows him. He appears to be holding a blanket.

The two men then reappear on the video. The second man is seen putting the shark -- now wrapped in a blanket -- into the baby stroller. He is then joined by the first man and by a woman carrying a young child. The group exits together.

Aquarium workers quickly noticed that Miss Helen was missing, and called the police.

On Monday night, police found Miss Helen in a home filled with fish tanks and other ocean wildlife. She has been safely returned to the aquarium and appears to be in good health.

“Sharknapping: Unsuccessful!” the aquarium posted on Facebook after Miss Helen’s return.

Experts at the aquarium will be closely examining Miss Helen’s health and behavior over the next few days before returning her to the tank.

Local police chief Joseph Salvaggio said two men have admitted to taking the shark. Investigators also plan to talk with the woman seen in the video. Salvaggio told the San Antonio television station KSAT that one of the men was very knowledgeable about marine life. He likely went to the aquarium especially to take Miss Helen. The man told police he had had a horn shark of his own, but the animal died.

Texas law enforcement officials are speaking with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to see whether any federal charges can be filed, Salvaggio said.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Ashley Thompson.

Ashley Thompson wrote this story based on reports by the Associated Press. Hai Do was the editor.


Words in This Story

aquarium - n. a building people can visit to see water animals and plants

heist - n. ​an act of stealing something from a bank or store​

surveillance - n. the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime

stroller - n. ​a small carriage with four wheels that a baby or small child can ride in while someone pushes it​

blanket - n. ​a covering made of cloth that is used especially on a bed to keep you warm​

marine - adj. ​of or relating to the sea or the plants and animals that live in the sea​