Echidna theft: Third man charged over animal heist
AND that makes three.
Police have charged a third man for their part in the stealing of Piggie the echidna from a Gold Coast animal sanctuary.
After being illegally spirited away from the centre on Saturday, the spiked mammal was returned on Monday following massive media coverage.
A 20-year-old from Surfers Paradise is charged with entering the sanctuary with intent and animal cruelty in relation to Piggie's theft.
He will face Southport Magistrates Court next week.
A 25-year-old from Tugun and a 24-year-old are also facing charges from the bungled animal theft.
Each face charges of receiving tainted property, the 24-year-old is also up on drug and weapon charges.
Monday 7.15pm: Second man charged over echidna heist
A SECOND man has been charged in connection to the alleged theft of an echidna from an enclosure at a Currumbin sanctuary.
Piggie the echidna was recovered safe and well on Monday night after she was left under a fence at the sanctuary.
A 25-year-old Tugun man is the second person to be charged with receiving tainted property and animal cruelty in relation to the alleged theft of the echidna.
He was also charged with one count each of possession of a drug utensil, possession of a dangerous drug and unlawful possession of a weapon.
He is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on August 17.
Investigations are continuing.
7:30 AM Man to face court on animal cruelty charges
A MAN linked to the bizarre theft of a Gold Coast echidna named Piggie will face court today charged with animal cruelty and receiving tainted property.
The 24-year-old is linked to the strange heist that left Currumbin sanctuary without one of its echidnas on August 1.
Piggie was discovered on Monday night "safe and well" according to police. She was left under a fence at the sanctuary.
Police are continuing the investigation.
UPDATE:Stolen Currumbin echidna found safe and well
Police have located an echidna reported stolen from a wildlife sanctuary at Currumbin.
Piggie, a female echidna, was located safe and well back in her enclosure at the Tomewin Street sanctuary around 6pm this evening.
She was stolen from her enclosure around 10pm yesterday after two men broke into the premises.
A 24-year-old man is currently assisting police with their investigations.
Investigations are continuing.
EARLIER: POLICE are appealing for help to return a stolen echidna safely to her home at a wildlife sanctuary at Currumbin.
Piggie, a female echidna, was stolen from her enclosure at the Tomewin Street sanctuary when it was broken into by two men after 10pm on Saturday night.
The men cut away netting to gain access to an enclosure containing a number of echidnas.
The first man attempted to remove three different echidnas from nesting boxes without success.
The second man has entered the enclosure and has been able to remove Piggie from her nesting box.
The two men have then left, taking Piggie with them.
Concerns are held for Piggie's welfare as echidnas require very specialised care and feeding.
Images have been released of two men who may be able to assist with the investigation.
One man is wearing a mask but has a distinctive diamond shaped tattoo on his inner left arm.
Anyone who saw a vehicle parked near the sanctuary boundary on Millers Street last night from around 9.30pm, or who may have any information about the theft, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers.
If you have information which could assist police contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.