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.
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.
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.