When a leopard escaped from the Dallas Zoo on January 13, it appeared at first to be an isolated incident—the sort of weird but mostly harmless news that regularly fills Texas Monthly’s Meanwhile, in Texas column. Twitter teemed with jokes about the zoo’s assurances that Nova the clouded leopard was “non-dangerous.” (At 25 pounds, Nova is closer in size to a house cat than a mountain lion—though if you’ve ever encountered a grouchy cat whose claws haven’t been trimmed, you know not to underestimate them.) After a day-long search, zookeepers found a confused but unharmed Nova still on zoo grounds, not far from her enclosure. While it was worrisome that someone had cut a hole in the leopard habitat and gotten away with it, the story seemed to have a happy ending. On Twitter, a zoo spokesperson wrote that the leopard was safely reunited with her sister, Luna, and thanked the well-wishers who had stopped by to cheer her return. Texas Monthly had a little fun with the story as well, publishing a lighthearted essay by writer-at-large Stephen Harrigan, who assured us that the kerfuffle wasn’t a guerrilla-marketing stunt to promote his latest novel, The Leopard Is Loose. And that, it seemed, was that.

Except it wasn’t. The day after Nova’s return, zoo officials announced that another animal habitat had been cut open, this one belonging to the spectacled langur monkeys. None had escaped, though, and zookeepers quickly patched the hole. Then, a week later, another crime, and not a victimless one: an endangered lappet-faced vulture named Pin was found dead in his enclosure. As the Dallas Morning News reported, Pin was at least 35 years old and had played an important role in keeping his species alive, siring eleven offspring that now live at zoos around the country. The zoo still hasn’t said exactly how Pin died, but at a news conference last Monday, president and CEO Gregg Hudson made it clear that it didn’t appear to be from natural causes. The string of crimes was “totally unprecedented and disturbing,” Hudson told reporters. He said that the zoo was enclosing some animals overnight, increasing security patrols, and otherwise doing “whatever it takes” to prevent another break-in.

Those efforts weren’t successful. Yesterday the zoo announced that two emperor tamarin monkeys were gone and that their habitat, too, had been tampered with. Monkey thefts aren’t unheard-of, perhaps because the trade of exotic animals is a thriving, lucrative business. (The industry is particularly active in Texas, where regulation is lax. This is where Joe Exotic got his start, after all.) According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the global illicit wildlife trade generates as much as $10 billion per year. Other small monkey species have been targeted before: in 2014 and 2015, golden lion tamarins were stolen from zoos in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Just last week, someone took a dozen squirrel monkeys from a zoo in Broussard, Louisiana. The impacts of these crimes go beyond the cruelties suffered by individual animals. “The thefts are reducing the genetic pool of the species, which is a very small genetic pool,” a tamarin expert told National Geographic in 2017.

Liz Tyson, programs director at the Born Free USA primate sanctuary, in the South Texas town of Cotulla, has been following the Dallas news. “If I had to speculate, I would say it’s probably not linked to the wildlife trade,” Tyson says. “Because the wildlife trade is so easily facilitated legally in this country, there wouldn’t be much need to go to that extreme.” It’s easy to buy a squirrel monkey online, she points out, though tamarins are rarer. “As an organization, we’re just as concerned about the legal trade of wild animals as pets. . . . Texas has a long way to go in terms of protecting exotic animals.”

On Tuesday morning, the Dallas Police Department released a surveillance photo of a man whom “detectives are looking to speak with.” Commenters on Twitter and Reddit swiftly dubbed him the Doritos Bandit, since he’s munching a bag of chips in the photo. On Tuesday evening, the Dallas Zoo confirmed to Dallas Morning News that the two monkeys had been found alive in Lancaster, south of Dallas, and would be transported back to the zoo for evaluation. And on Thursday, police arrested Davion Irvin, 24, after he was spotted at the Dallas World Aquarium.

At the press conference last week, Hudson told journalists that the zoo had already had more than one hundred security cameras, and it had since added more in order to prevent another attack. Regardless of what happens next, lots of Texans are watching. “I just want the true crime world to know that I am 100% on board for a seven episode podcast deep dive,” read one representative tweet. “The Dallas Zoo Netflix series bout to be lit,” read another. We’ll keep you posted about any further monkey business.

Editors’ note: This story has been updated with a quote from Liz Tyson, programs director at the Born Free USA primate sanctuary, in Cotulla. It was also updated to indicate that the two emperor tamarin monkeys had been located and an arrest was made.