EUGENE, Ore. (CNN) – A pet store owner in Eugene, Ore. is accused of burglarizing his own shop, stealing money and leaving a primate as a tip for a prostitute.
A nearly two-month-long search for the stolen primate is over, and police say all fingers point to Zany Zoo co-owner Nathan McClain of Eugene.
“We’re talking about one person,” said Eugene Police Detective Rick Lowe. “And I don’t have any reason to believe the second person had any idea really what was going on here.”
The other shop owner reported Gooey the Galago Primate was stolen along with Girl Scout Cookie money and a laptop back on March 1st. Then, it happened again just four days later.
“I was collecting video from surrounding businesses and trying to identify a possible suspect, using the video surveillance systems that were close by looking for vehicles, people,” Lowe said.
After combing through hours of footage, police finally identified a woman they say McClain used the money to pay. What’s more, they say she was a prostiute, and that he used the bush baby as a tip in the transaction.
Investigators and animal service specialists moved in with the help of the woman and eventually got Gooey back.
“It’s not something we typically house at the shelter,” said Molly Monette with the City of Eugene Animal Services.
“He sleeps during the day, he’s nocturnal, so he was just waking up when we got him,” said Monette.
The case is now closed, and definitely one for the books.
As for what happens to Gooey, no word yet if he’ll be headed back to Zany Zoo.
For now, Gooey is being cared for by the folks at Eugene Sanctuary.
Meanwhile, a post on Zany Zoo’s Facebook page says the store’s co-owner, McClain’s wife, has severed business ties with him.