Update! Surprising Arrest Made In Alleged Case Of Animals Stolen From Florida Wildlife Sanctuary

Josue Santiago is accused of removing dozens of exotic animals and staging a burglary at a wildlife sanctuary. (Miami-Dade Police)

An arrest has been made in the case WAN reported on earlier this week about dozens of animals that were allegedly stolen from a Florida wildlife sanctuary following a post of a false Craigslist ad that stated that the animals were available for free. But the person arrested is not who you may think.

According to various local news outlets including WHDH, the person facing charges for committing a crime turns out to be the owner of the We Care Wildlife Sanctuary himself!

Reportedly, police now believe that Josue Santiago made the fabricated report and lied to authorities. A partner of the sanctuary claimed the stolen animals were worth $53,400.00.

As per the arrest report, Santiago drove seven lemurs, three red-handed tamarins, five marmosets, one cotton top, and one white face capuchin to either North Carolina or South Carolina prior to staging the burglary to look like the animals had been stolen.

Santiago reportedly wanted to hide the animals to avoid wildlife authorities who had been looking into the sanctuary.

“At the time, they were telling me that the FWC was being unreasonable, the animals were well taken care of when that wasn’t really the case,” a woman who wants to be referred to only as Diane who is currently working with investigators and in possession of the relocated animals told WHDH. “It was all planned. It was all a farce. It was all a lie.”

Santiago is charged with filing a false report and providing false information to law enforcement.

Meanwhile, as per WHDH, six exotic birds were mysteriously returned and left outside of the property yesterday morning, but more than a dozen tortoises and birds remain missing.

People with any information about these animals should immediately call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or 305-471-8477.

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