DNA evidence nabs alleged goat thief

July 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM
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FALLBROOK, Calif., July 24 (UPI) -- A man who allegedly attempted to steal two goats from a California high school was arrested after being implicated by DNA evidence, authorities said.

Two Tennessee fainting goats, named for a condition that causes them to fall down when startled, were found with duct tape on their legs and snouts in the barn of Fallbrook High School in June 2011, Sgt. Jose Montion of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said. An intruder apparently attempting to steal the goats, which belonged to a student, ran away when interrupted by a security guard, he said.

One goat died of asphyxiation from the tape.

What was considered a school prank became a cold case, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise reported Tuesday, until December, when evidence from the duct tape resulted in a DNA match.

Bryce Zubicki, 23, of Temecula was arrested in May, and faces an August hearing in San Diego Superior Court on charges of burglary, animal cruelty and grand theft livestock, the newspaper said.

Zubicki's motive was unclear, but an investigator said he suspects Zubicki wanted to give the goats to his girlfriend, who kept farm animals as pets, the newspaper said.

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