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Person attempts to steal tiger from Conroe animal shelter; suspect on the loose

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – A man tried to steal the tiger officials found wandering the streets of Conroe last week, officials said.

According to investigators, someone broke into the Conroe Animal Shelter in the 400 block of  Sgt. Ed Holcomb Boulevard just after 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. Police said the person was not able to get into the area where the tiger was being kept. 

Surveillance cameras captured the person entering the shelter and attempting to break into several areas of the shelter.  

KPRC 2 spoke with the tiger's owner, Cody Tibbitts, who said he expected everyone to think it was him in the surveillance photos. But he said he didn't do it.

"I think it had to do with an animal rights group. They'll go to any extent to release the animal into the wild," Tibbitts said.

A hearing was held Tuesday at Conroe Municipal Court to establish ownership of the tiger. The judge ruled that the tiger was abandoned by Tibbitts and the City of Conroe took over ownership at that time.

Temporary custody was granted to Conroe with the understanding in place that it will be transferred to one of the capable agencies provided by the city.

The judge said Tibbitts put the city in danger and was not taking proper care of the animal -- on top of not possessing proper documentation of the exotic animal.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspected thief is asked to contact the Conroe Police Department at 936-522-3200.

A young female tiger has been found roaming wild in Conroe... we will have the very latest on the capture of this beautiful animal at 4:00 on #KPRC2.

Posted by KPRC2 Bill Spencer on Thursday, April 21, 2016