Man accused in Dallas Zoo thefts tells police he plans to steal more animals, affidavit says

Police: Dead animals found in house where stolen monkeys were discovered

DALLAS – The man who is currently behind bars for allegedly stealing a pair of monkeys at Dallas Zoo told police if he’s released that he will steal more animals, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Dallas Morning News.

Davion Irvin, 24, was booked at Dallas County Jail Thursday on multiple charges, including two counts of burglary and six counts of cruelty to non-livestock animals.

According to the Associated Press, Irvin was booked after being spotted at the Dallas World Aquarium where an employee recognized him from news coverage related to the missing monkeys.

Irvin told investigators he was able to evade security, enter the Dallas Zoo multiple times and outline his plans to take more animals, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The affidavit reveals that Irvin claimed responsibility for the first animal-related incident at Dallas Zoo on Jan. 13 when a 25-pound clouded leopard named Nova was able to escape her enclosure.

Irvin said he planned to take the leopard but only managed to pet it after cutting a hole in her enclosure, allowing her to escape. Police said Nova was found on zoo grounds near her enclosure shortly after her escape.

After the incident with Nova, zoo officials found the enclosure for the langur monkeys had also been cut, however, all the monkeys were accounted for following the discovery. Irvin is accused of cutting the monkey enclosure.

A week later, an endangered vulture in the Wilds of Africa habitat died.

“The circumstances of the death are unusual, and the death does not appear to be from natural causes. Given the recent incidents at the Zoo, we alerted the Dallas Police Department,” the zoo said in a statement.

Police are still investigating the vulture’s death but Irvin is not currently charged in relation to that case.

On Jan. 30, nine days after the death of the vulture, two emperor tamarin monkeys were then taken from Dallas Zoo after their enclosure was intentionally cut.

Police released a photo and video of the suspect, who was later identified as Irvin.

According to the affidavit, a tip led police to a vacant house in Lancaster, roughly 20 minutes from Dallas Zoo, where Irvin had been spotted multiple times.

“Police described the home to be in ‘extreme poor condition’ with suspected cat feces, building material debris, mold and/or mildew and dead animals — including goldfish that were believed to have been stolen from the zoo. In the specific area where the monkeys were found, police said there were bird feces and feathers, along with wet, moldy pieces of clothing,” the Dallas Morning News reported.

The affidavit stated that there was no access to outside air or light in the area where the monkeys were found.

Dallas police said there were also four to five cats, 12 pigeons and other unreported stolen items from the zoo, including feeder fish, water chemicals, fish flake food, training supplies and items from the staff-only area of the zoo’s otter exhibit, according to Dallas Morning News.

Jail records show Irvin’s bond amount is set at $25,000.

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