June 7, 2018 – A second suspect is in custody in connection with the theft of 11 animals from the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo. Austin Bruno, of Clay County, was arrested and charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of grand theft.
The Santa Fe College Police Department secured the warrant Wednesday evening and was assisted by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in contacting people at his residence. Bruno, a currently enrolled student at SF, then turned himself in to the SFPD early Thursday morning.
“Our investigation has led to the arrest of a second individual,” SFPD Chief Ed Book said. “This subject was an active participant in entering our zoo when it was closed and stealing our zoo animals. But our investigation is not over. Unfortunately, Mr. Bruno would not provide information about the remaining missing animals. Two gopher tortoises and two box turtles are still missing and are in need of medical attention.”
The SF Teaching Zoo was burglarized between May 23-24, when four animals were taken, and again May 29-30 when seven more animals were removed from the facility. Seven animals were recovered Monday, June 4, and the first arrest was made June 5.
The SFPD is asking anyone with information on other possible suspects, or the location of the missing animals to contact them at 352-395-5519.