EUGENE, Ore. (KPTV) — A pet store owner used money from a Girl Scouts donation jar to pay a prostitute and then gave her an exotic monkey as a tip, according to police.
Eugene police said Nathan Allen McClain was arrested Thursday and booked into the Lane County Jail on the charge of patronizing a prostitute.
The investigation began when police received reports of burglaries at the Zany Zoo Pet Store on March 1 and March 6. Items reported stolen included $7,000 in Girl Scouts donation money, a laptop computer and a galago primate named Gooey.
In the course of the investigation into the burglaries, police discovered surveillance video from neighboring businesses showed that McClain was the one who broke into his own store.
The galago was recovered by Eugene police on March 17 after officers said they located the out-of-town prostitute at a hotel in Springfield. Officers said the woman was cooperative and turned over the animal.
She has not been named and police say she is not facing charges.
“It’s my first time ever recovering a monkey from a prostitute,” said Det. Rick Lowe with Eugene Police.
According to the Oregon Zoo, galagos are also called bush babies. They are most closely related to lemurs and tarsiers and have large, round eyes for strong night vision and bat-like ears.
It is against the law to possess an exotic animal in Oregon without a license issued by the Department of Agriculture.
The woman told investigators McClain paid her for sex with funds from his pet store, including donation jar money, and gave her the galago as a tip.
“It’s totally like a movie,” said Chloe Block, who lives in the area. “Not something you’d expect to hear about in Eugene – or anywhere.”
McClain was first arrested March 19 on the charge of DUII in the parking lot of the Oregon State Police office in Albany. Detectives said he was seen leaving an adult store that shares a parking lot with the OSP office and appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine.
McClain was interviewed by detectives in Eugene two days later. Investigators said it appeared he was again under the influence of meth.
Police said further investigation revealed that McClain had paid the prostitute for sex with deposit and donation money from the store.
Police said Friday that the burglary reports at the pet store are unfounded and the missing Girl Scout money was never recovered.
McClain was released from the Lane County Jail on Thursday night. A post on the Zany Zoo Facebook page Friday states McClain’s wife is the owner of the pet shop and McClain will have no further association with the business.
“She personally thought that someone broke in to the store and stole her beloved animal and money and had no reason to suspect otherwise until contacted by the police,” the post states, adding, “Nathan’s potential wrongdoing has no bearing on our ability to care for our animals and customers.”
Gooey the galago is safe, according to officers, and is currently at a nearby sanctuary until the Department of Agriculture issues a new license for Zany Zoo Pet Store.