Suspect in Zoosiana monkey theft arrested

Suspect in Zoosiana monkey theft arrested
Photo credit Getty Images

Police have arrested a man in connection with the burglary of a dozen squirrel monkeys last month from a Lafayette Parish zoo. Broussard PD Chief Vance Olivier said they’ve arrested 61-year-old Joseph Randell of Opelousas.

“Once we developed him as a suspect, we teamed up with Opelousas Police Department and we executed a search warrant and an arrest warrant and we subsequently booked him into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center,” said Olivier.

Despite an arrest, the 12 monkeys were not recovered.

On January 29 Broussard Police responded to a report of a burglary at Zoosiana in which several squirrel monkeys were taken from their habitat. Olivier limited his comments because it’s an ongoing investigation and said there could be more arrests.

A day after the Zoosiana burglary two emperor tamarin monkeys were stolen from a Dallas Zoo.   24-year-old Davion Irvin was arrested last week in connection with that burglary. Olivier said they have not ruled out that the two could be connected.

“We are checking with them but I really don’t believe at this time it’s going to be related to their theft as well,” said Olivier.

As for a motive in the Zoosiana burglary, Olivier said it appears to be monetary value.

“They took the monkeys to sell them somewhere and that’s what we’re trying to currently find out,” said Olivier.

Randell faces burglary charges and 12 counts of Cruelty to Animals.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images