Shark called Helen disguised as baby and stolen from aquarium in pushchair

Creature returned safely after police receive tip-offs about bright orange getaway vehicle

Shark disguised as baby stolen from aquarium in pushchair

Thieves stole a shark called Helen from an aquarium by disguising it as a baby and smuggling it out in a pushchair.

The grey horn shark, less than 2ft long, was snatched from the San Antonio Aquarium in Texas and put into a bright orange pickup truck used as a getaway vehicle, footage showed.

Surveillance captured two men and a woman casually removing the fish from a petting tank on Saturday afternoon.

The dripping shark appeared then to have been wrapped in a blanket and placed in a bucket in a child's buggy.

A member of aquarium staff challenged the group but was unable to stop them leaving, according to local reports.

“The suspects staked out the pool for more than an hour” before making their move, the aquarium said in a statement.

Police have now said the shark, known to aquarium staff as Miss Helen, has been returned alive – and one person has confessed to the theft.

Investigators in the San Antonio suburb of Leon Valley said the person was arrested and charged on Monday night.

Miss Helen, the horn shark stolen from a San Antonio aquarium, was returned safely

Local news station KSAT 12, an ABC affiliate, reported the arrested person was a 38-year-old man. Television viewers phoned in with tips about the distinctive van when the footage was broadcast, the station said.

Police chief Joseph Salvaggio says two others are expected to be charged. No names have been released.

Mr Salvaggio added that the truck used in the heist was recovered on Monday evening.

He said: “The individual obviously had some knowledge on how to deal with these types of animals, we said that from the very beginning, otherwise why take it?

“And when we got into the garage and into the house, it looked like almost a mock-up of [the aquarium].

“He had a lot of different marine animals in the home. He very much knew what he was doing – kept that animal alive and was able to continue to see that animal thrive which was pretty shocking to all of us.”

Horn sharks are a small species, with rounded dorsal and lateral fins and distinctive spotted markings.

Additional reporting by AP

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