Chesterton Tribune



PCSP: Charged with theft at fair's 4-H rabbit exhibit

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A Valparaiso resident has been issued a summons to appear in court on a charge of theft after the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said that he removed a rabbit from its cage on Sunday at the 4-H barn at the Porter County Fair.

According to police, at 9:42 p.m. Nicholas Santmyre, 20, was observed walking around the rabbit barn, then removing a Polish rabbit from its cage. “Immediately several 4-H began to scream and point at (Santmyre),” who “attempted to hide the rabbit underneath his shirt,” police said.

Then, while several children continued to scream, Santmyre “attempted to flee the area” but was confronted by a man working in the rabbit barn, police said. At that point he “relinquished the rabbit back to a 4-H child” and waited for the arrival of an officer, police said.

Santmyre advised the officer that “he has been thinking about purchasing a rabbit for several months,” that “it was a stupid decision to attempt to steal the rabbit, and that he regretted his decision,” police said.

Santmyre was issued an information and summons for a charge of misdemeanor theft, with a court date on Sept. 10, police said. He was also issued a trespass warning, then escorted to his vehicle and released from the scene, police said.

Police put the value of the rabbit at $80.

Last year a rabbit named Willow was stolen from the 4-H barn by a Portage Township resident who then posted about the theft on Twitter. That post quickly came to the attention of Willow’s owner, who did a little surfing and came up with the name of a possible suspect as well as several photos of her from different social media accounts. The PCSP subsequently found Willow at the Portage Township resident’s home and returned the rabbit to its owner.


Posted 7/25/2017




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