LITTLE ROCK – The Little Rock Police Department has arrested three suspects following a break-in just after midnight, Thursday morning, at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center at the east end of the River Market in downtown Little Rock.
One suspect was charged with commercial burglary, theft of property, criminal mischief and fleeing. The other two were charged with commercial burglary, theft of property and criminal mischief.
In addition to thousands of dollars in damage to educational exhibits and fixtures, one of the center’s display animals, a live 3-foot alligator, was stolen. The alligator was later recovered from a vehicle.
“We also are missing a very realistic replica of a western diamondback rattlesnake,” said Neil Curry, nature center director for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “We are asking anyone who sees the snake replica to please report it to us immediately so we can return it to the center as swiftly as possible.”
For anyone that finds the replica, please call the nature center at 501-907-0636.
This is the first break-in at the center since its establishment in the River Market. Curry says he appreciates the rapid response by LRPD and the capture of the individuals involved.
The center’s exhibit hall will be closed for repairs until further notice, but administrative offices will be open.