Thieves heist rare trophy

Published: Oct. 15, 2009 at 8:17 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2009 at 8:17 PM EDT
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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) - In a typical burglary thieves often get away with cash or electronics. It's not often you hear about thieves stealing a rhinoceros skull. But that's exactly what happened at the Albany Check Casher on Slappey Blvd.

At 6:00, we learned that the purloined rhino head had been found, and its owner will soon have it back.

Allan Gleaton, owner of the Albany Check Casher, has an interesting hobby.  He hunts all over the world, and he's got it all-- a zebra, antelope, even an elephant tusk. He keeps many of the animals at his business, some up front, but most in the back office. "I've got 150 different species throughout the world," he said.

But his most prized kill came in 2004 when he and some buddies were hunting in South Africa.

On the first day, he shot a rhinoceros. Until yesterday morning, the rhino's skull and horns sat at the front of the store.

An employee came in and noticed the window was broken, shattered by a brick. The only thing missing, was the rhino.

"I felt sick to my stomach. it's irreplaceable you cant go out and just get another one.

Even if he did, the memories of this hunt, can never be replaced. "I just can't figure it out, but if anybody sees somebody with a rhino head, it's mine."

Gleaton says he's even willing to offer an award for the skull's return, which weighs more than 80 pounds.

He also told me three men came into his store two days ago inquiring about the rhino skull, but at the time he didn't think anything of it because people often ask questions about his interesting collection.

The store owner says if sold overseas it could be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Another business burglary occurred on Dawson road Wednesday night at the Albany Flower Market.

Thieves broke in the front door and took money from the cash register. Police don't think the two crimes are related.

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