The man who reported a mountain lion missing from a Richland Avenue business on Sunday was arrested late Monday.


Billy J. Lunsford, of North Augusta, was detained at about 7:30 p.m. Monday and charged with one count of providing false information to a public safety officer. He was placed in the Aiken County detention center but had been released as of Tuesday afternoon.


Lunsford called police at about 1 a.m. Sunday to report that someone forced entry through the metal side of the Aquarium Pet Store on Richland Avenue and stole his pet mountain lion, according to previous reports. Police originally reported that the animal was wearing a dog harness and had been declawed.


After enlisting the help of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Aiken officers later determined that the report was fraudulent.