Wednesday 11 December 2019

CCTV gives wiggle room in hunt for trousered snake

The thief stuffed a 2ft python down his trousers
The thief stuffed a 2ft python down his trousers

A snakey thief has been caught on camera smuggling a 2ft python from an Oregon pet shop - by stuffing it down his trousers.

Police say no arrests have been made over the theft in Portland, but Christin Bjugan, an owner of the A to Z pet shop, said video surveillance footage helped detectives identify a suspect and she expected the snake to be returned soon.

"We know who did it," she said. "We know where he lives, we know where he works, we know all about him and his girlfriend. We're just waiting to get our snake back."

The video shows the suspect with a blue-haired woman who appeared to be in on the theft. He handed her some keys before taking the black pastel ball python worth 200 dollars (£138) from a tank and shuffling out of the store.

Ms Bjugan said it was "pretty gutsy" for the man to put the python down his trousers - and potentially a bad move because it was close to feeding day.

On the other hand, she said, the snake does like warm, dark places.

Police sergeant Greg Stewart said it was the first time a pet shop theft probe had involved someone putting a snake in their trousers. It also seemed more purposeful than usual.

"If you look at the theft of stuff from pet stores, a lot of times it's someone wandering in drunk and doing something stupid," he said.

"This one's a little bit different, although putting a snake down your pants is not super bright. There's a lot of different ways that could go wrong."

PA Media

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