WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- A 19-year-old man has been charged with animal cruelty after police said he admitted killing at least five small animals taken from Petsmart at the Town Center in Westminster.
Police were called to the store April 4 where they learned an employee was caught stealing small animals from the store, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit.
Police said William Joseph Riddick was interviewed and admitted taking the animals from the store, including two hamsters taken the night before. Police found the hamsters at a pet hospital in the Petsmart and said both had suffered significant injuries.
Police later interviewed Riddick at the police station where he said he had been stealing hamsters and giving them to friends, the affidavit stated. The store said audits put the retail loss at $858. Riddick also admitted pinching a hamster the night before after it bit him, according to the affidavit. The hamster was euthanized as a result of its injuries, police said.
Riddick admitted grabbing a second hamster by the leg and swinging it in circles. A veterinarian determined the hamster would have to have its leg amputated, as a result of its injuries, the affidavit said.
Police asked Riddick about five other animals that were missing in the audit and said he admitted killing them by throwing them against the wall or hitting them repeatedly with his hands.
Riddick was charged by the district attorney's office cruelty to animals and theft of between $500 and $1,000.