Four teens made off with a stuffed animal menagerie in Mead on Monday night, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
At 9:45 p.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to a suspicious vehicle call on Perry Street north of Hawthorne Road, according to a news release. A nearby business owner saw three vehicles parked in the parking lot of an empty business, and heard a large metallic “clang” from one of the vehicles.
Deputies responded and found four teens in the parking lot, according to the release. Deputies asked them to leave, but later responded to a commercial burglary call at Knopp Taxidermy at 10816 N. Newport Highway.
An on-site security guard said he found the business burglarized at about 10:30 p.m. A panel had been torn off the side of the building, the front door was open and six animals were missing: a polar bear, wolf, monkey, raccoon, zebra and boar. The animals were valued at $27,050, $20,000 alone for the polar bear, according to the release.
Though the animals were dead and couldn’t have possibly wandered off, deputies were able to follow a dirt track to the same location he’d contacted the teens, according to the release. He found the polar bear, the raccoon, the zebra and the boar along the way, as well as a crowbar on the ground with animal hair next to it.
The wolf and monkey mounts were still at large.
Deputies tracked down three of the teens, who admitted they’d been inside the taxidermy business and stolen the mounts. They also told deputies the wolf and monkey had been dumped near Clover Park Avenue and Pineglen Road.
Deputies found the fourth teen, who also admitted to entering the business.
All four were arrested and booked on charges of second degree burglary.