WATCH: Trio steal live shark from aquarium by disguising it as a baby

A trio of thieves stole a shark from a Texas aquarium by disguising it as a baby.

They were caught on surveillance camera smuggling the shark out of the San Antonio Aquarium in Leon Valley in the US as an infant in a carriage.

According to the New York Post, the robbery, which took place on Saturday afternoon, was so bizarre local police at first thought the incident was a joke.

"When we first got the call we thought it was kind of a hoax being that it was Shark Week [an annual event during which programming on the Discovery channel centres on sharks] last week," Leon Valley police chief Joseph Salvaggio told KSAT TV.

"But it turns out someone actually went inside the aquarium there in Leon Valley and stole a horn shark."

The thieves, two men and a woman, took the 1.5ft (0.45m) horn shark from an open tank at the aquarium around 15:00.

One grabbed its tail, while the other two wrapped it in a wet blanket, reports KSAT TV.

Then they placed the bundled-up shark inside a baby stroller, walked out into the parking lot and escaped in a truck.

The aquarium’s staff only noticed 45 minutes later that the large fish was gone. 

Police confirmed that a 38-year-old man was arrested on Monday night in connection with the theft, the Daily Mail reported.

The man, according to police, allowed them to enter his home and pointed them to where the shark was being kept.

Police don't believe the man, whom police haven’t named, tried to sell the shark, but rather wanted to keep it as a pet because he had more sea creatures in his garage.

The other suspects will be charged at a later stage.

Authorities said the thieves could face felony theft charges and possibly federal charges as well.

Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the shark is now back in its petting tank, and investigators say they've obtained confessions from the two men involved in the deed.

Sources: New York Post, Daily Mail, KSAT TV, AP