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Pet Store Employee Charged With Abusing Hamsters

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William Joseph Riddick (credit: Jefferson County Sheriff)

William Joseph Riddick (credit: Jefferson County Sheriff)

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GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)- A Denver man faces animal cruelty charges after police claim he stole hamsters from the pet store where he worked and then killed some of them.

William Riddick appeared in court in Golden Friday morning to be advised of cruelty to animals and theft charges.

Riddick, 19, worked at the PetSmart on Town Center Drive in Westminster.

Police claim he stole $858 worth of hamsters from the store.

According to an arrest affidavit, Riddick pinched one of the hamsters when it bit him. That hamster had to be euthanized by a veterinarian.

He also allegedly grabbed another hamster by the leg and swung it. Five other hamsters were thrown against the wall.

Riddick told police he stole hamsters over a two month period. He has since been fired.

Riddick was released after his court appearance on a $200 bond. Investigators said he may be responsible for up to 80 other cases of animal cruelty.

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