Police charge youths in nature center thefts

Baltimore police have charged as juveniles two youths ages 11 and 14 with twice breaking into the Carrie Murray Nature Center in Leakin Park and stealing a dozen animals, a department spokesman said Thursday.

A tip from a neighbor led police Tuesday to a house on Clifton Avenue in a West Baltimore townhouse development within walking distance of the nature preserve.

Police said the center was broke into once between Saturday evening and Monday morning and again sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning. The alarm had been turned off, and entry was gained through a back door and then through an unlocked window.

Among the animals stolen were geckos, turtles, an iguana and a Madagascar hissing cockroach. All the animals were found unharmed and returned to the nature center, which rehabilitates wounded wildlife and birds of prey and teaches people about respect for animals.

It is unclear whether the two boys were arrested, or charged and left in the custody of their parents.


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