Police arrest suspect in monkey theft at Dallas Zoo

Dallas police have arrested a man believed to have stolen some emperor monkeys from the city’s zoo.

Davion Irvin, 24, was arrested late Thursday night and has been charged with six counts of animal cruelty — not livestock, according to a press statement from the Dallas Police Department.

“The preliminary investigation and help from the public have identified Irvin as the man who wanted to speak to the Dallas Police Department about the missing monkeys at the Dallas Zoo,” police said.

The monkeys disappeared Monday and were found the next day in the closet of an abandoned house in nearby Lancaster, Texas.

On Tuesday, police released a photo of a man in a blue hoodie holding a bag of Doritos who was caught on security footage walking near the monkey enclosure around the time they disappeared. Law enforcement officials asked the public for help in identifying the man they wanted to talk to about the monkeys.

Tipsters reportedly responded, eventually leading police to an abandoned house in Lancaster – about 15 miles from the zoo – where they retrieved the stolen monkeys from a closet.

They also received a tip on Thursday that the man in the photo had been spotted near the animal exhibits at the Dallas Aquarium.

Police found him on a DART public transit train and took him in for questioning. He was later arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

Davion Irwin, 24, is accused of stealing some monkeys from the Dallas Zoo (Dallas Police Department)

Davion Irwin, 24, is accused of stealing some monkeys from the Dallas Zoo (Dallas Police Department)

Police have also charged him with two other strange incidents that occurred at the zoo in the past month.

Earlier this month, a clouded leopard’s enclosure was cut open, allowing the cat to escape for several hours and causing a “code blue” at the zoo. The park was closed and police used drones to search the surrounding trees for the cat. The situation ended when the leopard was found near its enclosure and returned safely to captivity.

That same day, a cut was found in the enclosure of a group of langur monkeys, although none escaped during the time the hole was open. None of the monkeys escaped.

Mr. Irvin has been charged with two counts of burglary in a building related to the fences being cut for the clouded leopard and langur monkeys, Dallas Police Department spokeswoman Kristin Lowman said, according to the Associated Press.

A week after that incident, zoo officials found Pin, an endangered vulture, dead in its habitat. After examining the bird, zoo officials said they discovered an “unusual” wound that would not have resulted from a natural incident. Mr. Irvin has not been charged with anything related to the vulture at this time.

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