JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's an incident so unusual that when one local heard about it, she couldn't stop laughing. "If you want to put a wild animal in your britches, that's your personal business," local Michelle Klock said. "Who would want to steal a ferret, bottom line. I've heard of people stealing snakes, but stuffing a ferret down your britches? Hello."
Even police had a hard time keeping a straight face.
"Stuffing a ferret down your pants in order to steal it is not only stupid, but it's a little dangerous," Sgt. Thom Bingham said. Investigators said Rodney Bolton went into the Pet Supermarket store in Jacksonville Beach Tuesday afternoon and stuck a ferret down the front of his pants before walking out. A 17-year-old shopper told police he saw him abduct the ferret, and he tried to rescue him. "They fought over the ferret and he squeezed the ferret until it was angry and agitated, and it bit the victim in the ear," Bingham said. The teen wasn't seriously injured, and now Bolton, who is homeless, is charged with shoplifting and battery. The ferret involved in the incident is recovering from the trauma.
"It would be an interesting little thing to steal a ferret because they are so bouncy and kind of bitey, I kind of feel bad for the person that put it down their pants leg," pet store owner Stephen Brezil said. "I'm not sure if he'd be the same person after all."
Police said Bolton tried to tell the officers later that somebody gave him the ferret while he was standing outside the pet store. Police aren't buying his story, and they said Bolton won't say why he wanted a ferret. "Strange, weird, unusual, never heard of this quite before," Klock said. "That guy's a knucklehead."
Police said the ferret was safely returned to the store.News 4 Jax"The ferret involved in the incident is recovering from the trauma."