Petland Break-In: Animals Released, Suspect Arrested with Gerbils in Pants

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Columbus police have arrested a man who allegedly broke into multiple businesses on the far west side of the city, including a Petland where multiple animals were released early Tuesday morning. The suspect, identified as a homeless individual, is said to have entered the Petland store in Hilliard Station at around 3:45 a.m. and let loose a variety of animals, including birds, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, and ferrets.

According to eyewitness accounts, many of the animals escaped into the surrounding area, but a significant number were recovered by responding officers. Unfortunately, a few gerbils, ferrets, and rabbits remained missing. The motive behind the break-in and animal release remains unclear.

In addition to the Petland incident, the suspect is believed to have also broken into a Roosters and a Famous Footwear along Hilliard Rome Road. At the Famous Footwear location, blood was found on some of the merchandise. A thorough investigation into the crime scenes is ongoing.

A short while after the incidents, the suspect was tracked down in the parking area of a Big Lots on Roberts Road. A surprising discovery was made when officers found several gerbils still unharmed and tucked away in the man’s pants. The suspect was taken into custody and treated for injuries sustained during the break-ins.

Adam Conn
Adam Conn
Sports Reporter. Adam is a sports journalist with 19-plus years of experience in print and broadcast media.

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