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REPORT: Cops Say Man Set Various Critters Free From Pet Store In Wee Hours Of Night, Catch Him With Animals In Pants

Police announced Tuesday that they had arrested an Ohio man on suspicion of breaking into multiple businesses in Columbus, eventually ending up at a pet store where he let several animals escape.

Columbus police responded to the scene at the Petland store in Hilliard Station around 3:45 a.m. and found the door wide open. according to Authorities reportedly found animals roaming free inside the store, including dogs, birds, ferrets, rabbits and gerbils, according to WCMH News.

Police were able to recover some of the animals, but were unable to recover several rabbits, ferrets and gerbils, the media reported.

Authorities were searching for a homeless man who had previously broken into chicken wing restaurant Rooster's and Famous Footwear, both located on the same street, according to WCMH News. Bloodstains were reported on multiple items at the shoe store's crime scene.

According to the media, the suspect was found in the parking lot about an hour after the incident.

During the arrest, officers found several gerbils in the suspect's trousers, the outlet reported. The animals were unharmed. (Related article: Man indicted for smuggling 1,700 reptiles, some of which were found hidden in his “groin”).

The man involved was later treated for injuries he sustained during the break-in.

In December 2023, a man was arrested at a Thai airport after customs officials discovered him trying to smuggle animals onto a plane wearing only his underwear. according to Taiwan News. The suspect is accused of putting two otters and one prairie dog inside a pair of pantyhose and then tying them around his waist, the media reported.

The 22-year-old man was caught with the animals as they passed through an X-ray machine at airport security, the outlet reported. The New York Post reported that the animals were rescued and handed over to a wildlife conservation group in Thailand.

The man was charged with transporting protected wild animals, trafficking in prohibited items and attempting to export animals without a license, according to Taiwan News.

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