GREENSBURG, La., Nov. 15 -- Beavers snatched a bag of bills stolen from a casino and wove thousands of dollars in soggy currency into the sticks and brush of their dam on a creek in eastern Louisiana.
"They hadn't torn the bills up. They were still whole," said Maj. Michael Martin of the St. Helena Parish sheriff's office.
The money was part of $70,000 to $75,000 taken last week from the Lucky Dollar Casino in Greensburg.
St. Helena Parish deputies searched for the money for days until a lawyer, hoping to make a deal with prosecutors for a client, called and said the money had been discarded in the creek, Greensburg Police Chief Ronald Harrell said.
Officers searched the creek over the weekend, finding one money bag right away and spotting a second downstream against the beaver dam.
The third bag of cash could not be found, Martin said, so deputies started breaking down the beaver dam to drain the pond it was holding. That was when they saw the dam's expensive decoration. They eventually found the missing bag, which the beavers had not completely emptied.
"The casino people were elated" to get the money back, even if some of it was wet, Harrell said.
Altogether, deputies found about $40,000, and they expect to find the rest in a safe deposit box at a bank in Mississippi, authorities said.