A married Oregon pet shop worker paid a prostitute with cash from a Girl Scout donation jar and tipped the sex worker for her services with a small exotic primate, police said.
Nathan Allen McClain was charged on April 14 with soliciting a prostitute and was sent to Lane County Jail. He was released later that night, but authorities only announced the details of the case on Friday.
“It’s my first time ever recovering a monkey from a prostitute,” Detective Rick Lowe told FOX12.
Police began investigating in early March when Zany Zoo Pet Store reported the theft of $7,000 in Girl Scouts donation money, a laptop and a Galago primate nicknamed “Gooey.” Surveillance video from a neighboring store viewed by police allegedly showed McClain, whose wife owns the store, breaking into the pet shop.
Gooey was located on March 17 when authorities interviewed an out-of-town prostitute who had the primate. The woman has not been named and is not facing charges.
The prostitute told police that McClain paid her with money taken from the pet store, including cash stolen from a Girl Scouts donation jar. Gooey was allegedly a tip for the encounter. It is against the law to own an exotic animal without a license in Oregon.
Officials arrested McClain two days later when he was observed exiting a porn shop allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine. The porn shop is next door to the Oregon State Police’s Albany office. McClain was charged with DUII-controlled substance.
He was released from jail and interviewed by detectives on March 21 about the pet shop break-ins. McClain again appeared under the influence of meth during the interview, authorities said.
Lowe told OregonLive.com that he delayed McClain’s arrest because McClain’s wife, Abbie, was in the process of moving the pet store to a new location. The missing money hasn’t been recovered and Lowe said there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges.
McClain’s next court appearance is set for May 5.
Abbie has already begun the process of removing Nathan McClain’s name from the pet business and associated bank accounts, according to a Zany Zoo Pets post on Facebook. Nathan McClain “will have no further association with Zany Zoo.”
“Abbie and her kids are suffering right now through this tragedy and trying to figure out the best course of action,” the post said.
Gooey is being housed at a nearby animal sanctuary. Galago primates, also known as bush babies, are small animals native to Africa. They resemble lemurs.