The Best Way to Steal a Shark Is by Pretending It's a Baby, Apparently

Video footage shows a trio of thieves waltzing into a Texas aquarium, swaddling the shark, and wheeling it out like a baby in a stroller.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
July 31, 2018, 3:33pm
Screengrab and photo via the San Antonio Aquarium

Behind most great heists is an intricately hatched plot: If you're a professional thief looking to jack rare wine by tunneling through the French catacombs, rob a truck full of iPhones on the highway, or steal a massive gold coin from a museum, a lot of meticulous planning is involved. But if stealing marine wildlife is more your speed, apparently all you need is a blanket, a stroller, and the fearless ability to hold a live shark.


That's all it took for three thieves in San Antonio, Texas, to make off with a 16-inch horn shark named Miss Helen from the city's aquarium over the weekend, the Washington Post reports. According to the aquarium's owner, the criminals snuck in through the back with a stroller and a baby, and hit up an exhibit where you're allowed to (for some ungodly reason) pet and feed a handful of sharks.

In the aquarium's security footage, you can see one man walk up to the edge of shallow pool next to a handful of people and just stick his hands in. He then turns around from the tank carrying something in a net, passing other aquarium visitors milling about seemingly unaware that the guy is dripping something wet all over the floor behind them.

According to the aquarium's Facebook page, the man, along with two accomplices, then placed the 16-inch horn shark in a bucket before swaddling it in a blanket. Disguised as a baby, Miss Helen is then brought back into the frame and placed into the stroller by another man, before the group waltzes out of the aquarium with their score.

Unfortunately for these shark bandits, their heist was just a little too slapdash to go undetected. The aquarium's general manger, Jenny Stellman, told the Post she followed the trio out to their car and grilled them on why their stroller was leaking all over the place.

“He said the water was dripping because they had spilled a Yeti cup onto the stroller and they were leaving in such a hurry because their baby that was with them needed medication," Stellman told the Post, adding that when she asked to search his car, the driver just "jumped in his truck and drove off."

Luckily, Stellman managed to catch their plates, and by Monday, the cops had tracked down the thieves and recovered Miss Helen, finding her in an amateur aquarium in a garage. According to the cops, one of the criminals has since been charged with theft, and charges against the other two are still pending while the police figure out if they can pursue felonies, and why anyone in their right mind would want to take home a living shark.

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