Beavers found a bag of bills stolen from a casino, tore it open and wove the money into the sticks and brush of their dam at a creek near Baton Rouge.
According to the Associated Press, quoted by Abcnews.go.com, the money was part of at least $70,000 pilfered from the Lucky Dollar Casino in Greensburg, about 30 miles north-east of Baton Rouge. Surprisingly enough, the banknotes remained usable after the beavers’ ‘construction project’.
“They hadn’t torn the bills up. They were still whole,” said Maj. Michael Martin of the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The mystery of the stolen money turned out to be rather simple to solve, although it had a rather unusual twist to it. According to the Sheriff’s deputies in St. Helena Parish, they started an investigation after local video poker casino accused its security guard of disabling its security cameras. Jacqueline Wall, 25, was booked for theft, Martin said.
Jacqueline Wall told investigators a ski-masked gunman made her help him empty all the casino’s safes, then kidnapped her, knocked her out and left her in an uninhabited area of East Feliciana Parish.
St. Helena Parish deputies searched for the money for days until a lawyer, hoping to make a deal with prosecutors for his client, called and said the money had been discarded in the creek, Police Chief Ronald Harrell said.
The first money bag was found almost immediately, while the second bag of banknotes was found downstream of the beavers’ dam shortly afterwards. The third bag caused a lot of trouble to officers as they couldn’t find it even in the deep water near the dam. Finally, deputies decided to break the dam down and suddenly found the money there. When they opened the third sack, it still had some cash in it.
“The casino people were elated” to get the money back, even if some of it was wet, Harrell said.
Deputies have so far recovered about $40,000 and expect to find the rest in a safety deposit box at a bank in Mississippi.