35 snakes were taken, including a pied tiger reticulated python worth $12,500.
Some people are down right mean. And criminal! A burglar has gotten away with an estimated $30,000 worth of snakes from a reptile store in North Carolina, including a pied tiger reticulated python (Python reticulatus) that the owner says has a value of $12,500.
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According to Jonathan McMillan, owner of Reptile Passion, the burglar, who was covered head to toe in clothing to disguise him and make identification difficult, knew exactly what he was looking for.
McMillan told ABC News that there are only about 15 to 20 pied tiger reticulated pythons in the United States and was shocked when it and 35 other snakes were stolen. McMillan said around 3 a.m. June 29, the burglar broke a window to gain entry to the store and headed straight to the back of the store and began loading a variety of high-end snakes, including albino reticulated pythons, albino super tigers, and albino red tail boas into a pillowcase.
“Whoever it was had to have been in here last week because I move stuff around a lot for cleaning,” McMillan told ABC News. “He knew exactly what he was looking for.”
McMillan has only had the store open for about four months but has been in the reptile business for 20 years. He said he has gotten calls from people in the industry and reptile lovers up and down the Atlantic seaboard telling him that they would keep watch on sites such as Craigslist for anyone selling snakes similar to what were stolen.
If you have any information regarding this crime, please call Crime Stoppers of Gaston County at 704-861-8000.
John B. Virata currently keeps a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata