Police arrest man in mountain lion case

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 8:50 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 8:05 AM
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A North Augusta man is in custody after police say he filed a false report of a missing mountain lion in Aiken on Sunday.

Billy J. Lunsford, 55, was arrested on a charge of providing false information to a public safety officer.
Billy J. Lunsford, 55, was arrested on a charge of providing false information to a public safety officer.

Billy J. Lunsford, 55, was arrested Monday evening on a charge of providing false information to a public safety officer after he said his black, domesticated mountain lion was stolen from Aquarium Pets on Richland Avenue West, according to Aiken Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jake Mahoney.

Lunsford was arrested by the North Augusta Department of Public Safety before being turned over to the Aiken Department of Public Safety, Mahoney stated.

“I don’t have any specifics right now on how the arrest was made,” Mahoney said. “All I know is we have Lunsford in custody at the Aiken County Detention Center.”

According to an incident report, Lunsford told police early Sunday someone had forced their way through the metal side of the building and stole the mountain lion, valued at more than $35,000. Lunsford said he believed the mountain lion, described as being about 3 feet tall and weighing about 100 pounds, was pulled through a six-inch gap in the wall.

After news of the missing animal made it to social media and residents began to call in, investigators determined the report was fraudulent.

Comments (10) Add comment
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Pops
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Pops 08/11/14 - 08:06 pm
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North Augusta

must not have much real crime.......this story will not go away......

itsanotherday1
48442
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itsanotherday1 08/11/14 - 08:10 pm
8
1
Nice to have such Mayberry

Nice to have such Mayberry stories after daily doses of real crime in Richmond County.

bdouglas
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bdouglas 08/11/14 - 09:38 pm
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@Pops

Well, North Augusta *doesn't* have much real crime, but the faked story took place in the city of Aiken.

jmo
18719
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jmo 08/12/14 - 05:59 am
3
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Has Lunsford's.......

relationship to the business been reported?

my.voice
5185
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my.voice 08/12/14 - 06:03 am
4
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You mean he was lion about

You mean he was lion about his lion?

curly123053
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curly123053 08/12/14 - 06:04 am
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Sad Character !

He's the owner.

IBeDogGone
3015
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IBeDogGone 08/12/14 - 06:26 am
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Roaring!

Aiken Co wanted to be just like RC and have their own Roaring Thunder!

bdouglas
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bdouglas 08/12/14 - 07:53 am
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@Curly

No, he is not the owner. Not of the pet store, if that's what you were saying anyway.

curly123053
5429
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curly123053 08/12/14 - 09:48 am
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Strange

I stand corrected on my above comment. The talk around Aiken Saturday had him as the owner early on. This is a rather unusual event.

bdouglas
5787
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bdouglas 08/12/14 - 12:31 pm
4
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I guess technically he wasn't

I guess technically he wasn't the owner of the animal either, since it didn't exist. heh

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