State Fair reviewing security following stolen baby goat incident

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PHOENIX, AZ (KPHO)It's the talk of the town: A baby goat named GusGus was stolen from the Arizona State Fair. The goat was left near a canal and later found by a good Samaritan who took him to a local pet store. Not too long after, GusGus was reunited with his owner and his mom back at the fair.

There are no surveillance cameras inside the barn where GusGus was taken. This incident has now changed security at the family-friendly event.

The fair official that runs the petting zoo believes that as the person who stole GusGus left the area, an eyewitness saw him or her. Unfortunately, that person didn't speak up until the search for him topped headlines Thursday.

"Instead of us talking about all the positive, fabulous, educational things about something so great, I'm talking about watching the gate because somebody stole a goat," said Karen Searles, the state fair's livestock director.

The entire Valley had eyes out for a stolen baby goat.

"I just wanted to see him," said Becky Thompson, who came to see GusGus after he had been reunited with his mother. "He's really cute."

State fair officials had said if he was "returned" to them there would be no questions asked. But that did not happen. We pressed state fair organizers who didn't deny they are now considering criminal charges if the person who took GusGus is ever found.

Searles believes the person just scooped him up as he or she was walking by the pen where GusGus is kept.

"You could reach over and pick him up and put it in your coat," she said.

When asked if the petting zoo is monitored by surveillance cameras, Searles said: "There are no security cameras in this building."

But cameras, we are told, are one of the measures fair officials are reviewing, considering the honor code of this family event has been broken. State Fair attendants, as well as DPS officers, now surround GusGus' pen.

"He's [officer], as you can see, watching the exit, and he will be stationed on this side of the pen all the time," Searles said.

Ultimately, fairgoers can still meet GusGus, thanks to the best security of all: The eyes of the public.

"You need to report what you see," Searles said.

There are cameras at the fair gates, but even if they captured the person who walked out with GusGus, because he was found after being dumped somewhere, proving he or she did it would be unlikely.