Hoax report: Mountain lion escaped from pet store
Posted: August 13, 2014 - 2:24am

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — Officers in South Carolina spent hours searching for a mountain lion on the loose from a pet store — but police now say the threat was based on a false report.

Police say 55-year-old Bill Lunsford reported the escaped animal about 1 a.m. Sunday in Aiken. He said a burglar broke into a pet store and let the animal loose. Police warned residents that the domesticated, declawed mountain lion was 3 feet tall and 100 pounds, wearing a dog harness.

Aiken Police told WRDW-TV that about a dozen officers looked for the cat for up to 18 hours.

But police now say the report was a hoax and a mountain lion was never at the store. Lunsford is charged with filing a false police report.

It wasn't known whether he has a lawyer.

The Latest

PE Sneak PeekThe PE Sneak Peek: July 27, 2016

5:14pm - Here are the stories keeping our reporters busy Wednesday:• A...

Front PageRift leaves police low on gear

Conflict between Berwick chief, borough manager stalled bullets, vest

Front PageEateries divided on bash boost

Most in business view Block Party as blot on Bloom, according to poll

Front PageWheelchair lodged in SUV grill

Seven children escape injury in rear-end crash on Route 487

Front Page$200G from state helps save Montour Preserve

Nearly as much in local donations means popular recreation spot can stay open for four more years