By John Lauritsen

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Not even the Como Zoo is immune to vandals. Just before 4 a.m. Thursday morning a security guard noticed a donation box was knocked over and called police.

Police arrived and found half a dozen other buildings and properties were damaged, too.

“We love the zoo. It’s a great all-around family experience. And with a day like today in Minnesota you can’t beat it,” said Dewey Lane, who was visiting with his three kids.

The Como Zoo will see thousands of guests on a day like this one. But before it even opened Thursday morning there was activity. Two unwanted guests snuck in and did their share of damage.

“It appears these two people damaged some of the properties while trying to get into them. There were some cash boxes and cash registers that had been damaged,” said John Keating, spokesman for the St. Paul Police Department.

When police arrived, they saw two men running from the zoo entrance but they got away. Once inside, police saw the vandals had tried to steal money from one of the zoo’s main attractions. The polar bear donation box had been knocked over and some money had spilled out. How much was taken is unclear.

They also tried to break into a concession building, a food building and a gift shop. No animals were stolen or hurt, and overall the damage was minimal. But for zoo visitors, it’s the principle that matters. These vandals put a black mark on a family place.

“I think they need to find something better to do. A place like this that tries its best to be free and economical for families — it’s a pretty bad thing to do this,” Lane said.

Visitor Sue Johnson agreed.

“No need to be stealing here. Everything’s free. Come and enjoy it and have a good time and don’t do any damage,” she said.

Police are trying to determine how much money was taken, but they don’t think it was much.

They are also looking at the zoo’s surveillance video to see if they can identify who broke in.

Comments (28)
  1. Genis says:

    that pictures the greatest! what a dumb A

  2. Dummies says:

    Hope they took finger prints. You can see them touching everything. What a bunch of idiots. But imagine that just take one look at them. They dont look to smart and other characteristics says alot about them.

    1. Paulie says:

      And I’m sure their prints are in the system. Confident that’s a given.

    2. v says:

      If you’re going to question the intelligence of someone, you ought to know the difference between, and correct usage of “to” and “too”.
      I agree with your thought process, but please, work on grade-school spelling before commenting on how smart someone else is.

      1. Me says:

        Wonders why there always has to be a grammar critic in the bunch. Does it really matter if someone didn’t spell correctly? Maybe it was a typo? I think we have better things to worry about than if someone used correct spelling and grammar. Seriously, I somethings think the reason people point out someones mistake, is to try and make themselves look good. The people that vandalized the zoo were idiots.

        1. v says:

          If you’re going to criticize intelligence… it’s a good policy to practice it.
          Something you should consider when beginning a sentence with “Wonders”.
          Makes me ‘wonders’ how intelligent all the people here are.
          The only difference, as far as I can tell, is the morons in the video are criminals.
          Oh… and I can just imagine skin color had nothing to do with it.
          I ‘wonders’ how many posts there would be here if the perpetrators would have been white.

          1. I says:

            wonder why “V” didn’t get the joke?

  3. Steve says:

    Also…get a new security guard…

  4. Hugh Jorgan says:

    Hahahahahahaha – no doubt! JAFN…

  5. Sarah in Outstate MN says:

    The video showing him touching all sorts of objects. His fingerprints should help identify him. Hopefully the fingerprints aren’t smeared.

  6. Steve says:

    Who does that to Como Zoo? What a sick and sad world we live in, seriously, it is a damn zoo, what is the matter with people? My guess is not from round these parts… sick, destroy what you have, destroy what you came to, just pain damn sad.

  7. HooDatIS? says:

    that is an employee who else would know where to look
    such a loser dump him in a cage with the lions and let them serve him justice

  8. Dave Seavy says:

    Nah – Baboons are smarter than that

    1. reality says:

      I thought they are baboons?

  9. me says:

    …find them…and shoot to kill….

  10. Frank M says:

    Hope they catch these guys. Then feed them to the bears.

    1. tui says:

      don’t you mean tigers, lions

  11. MarkH says:

    “These vandals put a black mark on a family place.”

    I guess that says it all.

    1. the crux of the biscuit says:

      Pun intended?

  12. Ted says:

    Watching the video they look high or drunk as if they were just walking by and thought, “Hey, lets break in.” I am sure they will be caught.

  13. Go-Gary-Indiana says:

    We can only hope..That someday..all animals in the Zoo will procreate.

    Dream Big!!!!

  14. Todd says:

    Page reloaded while watching the video. had to sit through commercial again. video slider will not let me resume where I left off. Thanks for all the choices.

  15. Jesse says:

    I did not know spanking the monkey was a crime. At least they did not beat whitey.

  16. true facts says:

    blacks… always causing trouble.

  17. just saying says:

    “everything here is free, why come and destroy it”…

    because blacks don’t care about anybody but themselves. They are selfish and you can’t trust them.

  18. jeff says:

    these two are a great big useless waste and they should be treated like waste. off to WM with them!

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