We May Hold Him Deer, but He's a Thief All the Same

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We have had a lot of discussion on crime lately, especially the rashes of retail theft that plague many of our cities. While it's bad enough that people are committing these acts, in some regions even the wildlife is getting involved.

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It's unclear how many bucks the thief cost Buddy and Howie's Candy Store, but the malefactor certainly got a few good mouthfuls before hoofing it out of there. He is reportedly still on the lamb.

Retail theft really isn't a big problem here in Alaska. The manager of our local Three Bears store is a very large Marine Corps veteran who often stations himself by the entrance/exit, and I often stop and pass the time of day with him for a few moments. After one well-publicized retail thievery incident I asked him if he was worried about any such at his store; the nasty grin he gave me in reply spoke volumes.

But as large and imposing as he is, Alaska is now seeing a troubling trend of even bigger and more imposing thieves.

A Kenai, Alaska, movie theater received an unexpected guest last week who was more interested in snacks than any of the blockbuster hits showing on the big screen, as seen on video.

A young moose moseyed its way into the Kenai Cinemas snack bar area at about 7 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

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And this big fellow wasn't the only such criminal:

An apparent hungry moose caused quite a stir when it walked through the doors of Alaska's largest hospital in Anchorage Thursday — and began munching on plants in the lobby. 

Video posted to social media showed the young moose chewing the leaves nonchalantly as security guards approached the moose inside Providence Alaska Medical Center. 

"There's a moose in our hospital, guys," one witness said in a video posted on Facebook. "It's just chilling. Hungry." 

In the interest of bringing you the very best in investigative reporting, I did some digging on this disturbing trend of wildlife thievery. It seems that the source of our troubles here in the Great Land is not with the moose or even with the bears; the trend begins with something much smaller, sporting black feathers.

Olani Saunoa was finishing a shopping trip there last winter, buckling her baby in a car seat. That’s when a raven swooped in and swiped some short ribs from her cart.

“He had picked up the entire package of short ribs, like flying away with it,” Saunoa said.

The same thing happened this spring — only this time, it was more than one, and they chose a different cut of meat.

“I’ve been here my entire life, dealt with the ravens but never ever had this happen to me, ever,” Saunoa said. “The first time we thought, ‘Once in a lifetime kind of thing, this is never going to happen again.’ But sure enough a year later, same Costco. This year, it was a pack of pork ribs that they had gotten into.”

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While the birds have led the way, the knowledge of how to conduct food theft has certainly spread throughout the local wildlife, and the perpetrators are leading local authorities on a few wild moose chases. Unfortunately for the business owners affected by the furry felons, some of the local human population finds this trend a-moose-ing, and on social media, some people are literally fawning over the thieves.

It seems it won't stop with the wildlife stealing snacks. I am still researching sources, but there is a rumor going around that down in Washington, the local ravens are trying to gather crows together to pass on their food-stealing skills. At least two ravens have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

We will continue to keep you informed on this disturbing trend.

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