Shark Thief

Frank Vereline, Editor

If you’re a fan of the “great” and completely original cartoons of the mid-1900s that didn’t follow the exact same formula for every episode, then you’ve probably seen the classic trope used by many of  the colorful and animated villains, which sees them attempt to steal a person or object via a baby carriage. Whether they’re using the carriage in tandem with an impeccable old grandma costume, or just have it out in hopes that no passerby would see them, no matter the guise they’re under, their thinly laid veil is almost always uncovered by our heroes. However, one Texas man rose to the challenge, in a grand attempt to show the world that the cartoon writers of the 1960s were on to something.

On the night of Monday, July 30th, Anthony Shannon entered the San Antonio Aquarium, baby carriage in tow, set on his objective: a baby shark known as “Miss Helen.” Assisting Shannon in his heist were three accomplices, who are yet to be named by authorities, an adult male, adult female and her infant child, who acted as the cover for their stroller. Shannon made his way to the shark enclosure and scooped the young shark out of the tank using his own bucket, and raced over to the “Getaway Vehicle,” placing it under the infant. Shannon, along with two other accomplices, who acted as distractions, made their way out of the building and loaded the stolen goods into a red pick-up truck. Shannon then proceed to return to his nearby home, leaving the payload in a homemade shark tank, finishing the heist. Shannon was then sent to the local San Antonio jail, and the shark was safely returned to the aquarium.

According to local San Antonio authorities, Aquarium security noticed the suspicious behavior of Shannon and his posse as they attempted to shield each other from the gaze of the cameras. After a short check-in at Miss Helen’s tank, security alerted San Antonio police that a shark was at large in the city. Police found Shannon’s house later that night along with his own aquarium and Miss Helen.

As I wrote this article, one question always bugged me: How did this heist fail? Granted, the baby carriage was already a huge red flag, but other then that, it had all the makings for a “perfect heist.” After thinking about it for approximately thirty seconds, I finally realized why Shannon and his crew failed so hard. The answer? Nobody played their role. In the vast catalogue of heist films I’ve seen, (which is like two), the team all has unique jobs to perform during their quest. Jobs like Hacker, Safecracker, and Wheelman are all important for the heist to succeed, but Shannon was the only one to perform the jobs. His accomplices all had the minds of children, both figuratively and literally.  


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license