Dallas Zoo case: Alleged monkey thief says he would do it again
A 24-year-old man, now linked to an unusual crime spree that kept the Dallas Zoo searching for missing animals, told police that after he stole two monkeys from their enclosure, he took them to the city’s light rail system to make his getaway, according to court records.
Davion Irvin also said he loves animals and if released from prison he would steal more of them, according to the documents.
Irvin, who remained jailed on Tuesday on $25,000 bail, was arrested last week after asking questions at a downtown Dallas aquarium about the animals there. He is charged with six counts of animal cruelty and two counts of burglary. A lawyer listed for Irvin in court records did not respond to a request for comment.
Irvin told police that on the night of January 29, he waited until dark, jumped a fence to gain access to the zoo, cut the wire mesh of an enclosure and took the two monkeys. emperor tamarins, according to the arrest warrant affidavits. He then took the city’s light rail before walking to the vacant house where he said he kept his animals.
Police, acting on public request, found the monkeys, named Bella and Finn, on Jan. 31, the day after they disappeared, in the empty home in Lancaster, a suburb of Dallas about 15 miles south. from the zoo. Officers also found several cats and pigeons, in addition to dead fish and fish food that had disappeared from a zoo staff area earlier in January but were not reported stolen at the time. , according to affidavits.
Irvin was charged in two of the bizarre occurrences over a period of weeks at the zoo and is linked to another, police said. When taking the monkeys, Irvin faces one count of burglary and six counts of animal cruelty – three for each monkey. He also faces a burglary charge in connection with the escape of a clouded leopard named Nova, who was discovered missing on January 13. A cut was found in his enclosure and the zoo closed as a search was launched. She was found later that day near her habitat.
Irvin told investigators he had wanted to take Nova away but was only able to pet her before she got on her enclosure, according to an affidavit.
Police say they linked Irvin to the cut-out of a langur monkey enclosure, discovered after Nova disappeared, but he has not been charged for it. None of the langur monkeys escaped.
In the days leading up to the capture of the emperor tamarin monkeys, a man had raised suspicions at the zoo, asking not only about the whereabouts and care of these monkeys, but also about the clouded leopard that had escaped, according to an affidavit. He was also seen entering the staff buildings near the monkey enclosure.
After the monkeys were discovered missing on January 30, police released a photo and video from the zoo of a man they said they wanted to talk to about the missing monkeys. The man in the footage – who police say was later identified as Irvin – prompted police to attend the vacant home where the monkeys were found on January 31. a church recognized the man in the pictures as someone who frequented a vacant house owned by the church.
Police arrested Irving a few blocks from the Dallas World Aquarium on Thursday after he asked about the aquarium animals there and a worker recognized him from media coverage.
Police said they were still investigating, but Irvin has not been linked to the suspicious death of an endangered vulture at the zoo in January.
Meanwhile, Louisiana police announced the arrest on Tuesday of a 61-year-old man in the case of 12 squirrel monkeys who were discovered missing Jan. 29 from their enclosure at Zoosiana in Broussard, about 96 miles east west of Baton Rouge. Police said the missing monkeys have not yet been found.
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