The endangered ring-tailed lemur, known as Isaac, was stolen from Santa Ana Zoo last summer. When employees at the zoo showed up for work that faithful morning of July 28th, 2018, they noticed something was amiss. The lemurs and monkeys were wandering the zoo like small furry tourists -- completely loose.
Someone had cut holes in the chain fence large enough for their escape. The zookeepers jumped into action and used grapes to capture the lot and did a head count. One was missing. The 32-year-old lemur, Isaac. Isaac is believed to be the oldest ring-tailed lemur currently living in captivity in North America.
The search party began immediately, but things took a strange turn. 10 miles from Santa Ana, the police received a phone call from the Marriott Hotel stating that the have a strange parcel at their door, along with a head-written note,
"This belongs to the Santa Ana Zoo. It was taken last night please bring it to police."
The zookeepers and the rest of the staff were thrilled to have Isaac back unharmed. But the question still remained, who? and why?
Police have finally got the answer.
The thief was found nearly one year later, 19-year-old teen Aquinas “Quinn” Kasbar
But the story of how police discovered it was him is a wild ride all on it's own. The police had been keeping an eye on Kasbar after discovering stolen luxurious items that he sold to the pawn shop. They discovered a hoard of items in a storage unit he was renting out, including; ostrich-skin Birkin bags valued at more than $20,000 and Fender guitars.
Upon finally capturing Kasbar and arresting him, they were able to search his home where they found evidence that linked him to the Lemur heist in 2018, according to the Times.
The teen pleaded guilty to cutting the chain fences and stealing Isaac
And while prosecutors brought up the reason behind it would be for illegal pet-trading, Kasbar claimed through the plea agreement that he didn't intend to sell the wide-eyed primate. He simply "wanted to keep it as a pet. "
Brian Gurwitz, Kasbar's attorney, told the Orange Country Register, "My client accepted responsibility today for a mistake he made as a high school student. He quickly regretted his decision."
And while Kasbar's future is unclear at the moment, we are happy to report Isaac is still going strong
A year later, there is no indication whatsoever that Isaac was shaken by the events of that night. Now 33, he had just recently celebrate his birthday (Happy Belated, Isaac!), he spends his days following around the zookeepers, enjoying grapes and even has some lady companions!
Story via The Washington Post