SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A local pet store is asking for help in finding a baby Albino Ball Python stolen from its cage.
The one-foot baby python was stolen from The Pet Zone store in Shreveport during a busy Saturday afternoon.
Store manager Zachary Nelson says this was not a one-man job.
“Three individuals ended up waiting for an open opportunity,” Nelson said, adding he could not believe someone would stoop so low.
The theft happened around 4:53 p.m. Saturday and was caught on camera.
Nelson said there are locks in front of the cages but said the thief must have figured out how to pop the lock, quickly stick their arm in the cage and grab the baby snake.
The theft was easy to do, Nelson added, since this type of snake can ball up in your hand – hence the name “ball python.”
“After he grabbed the snake, he pretty much had his accomplice get the purse ready,” Nelson said. “He grabbed it and just slid it in her purse, and she just tightened it up next to her and walked out the doors.”
Nelson, who has been with Pet Zone for more than six years, says it all happened fast.
He says he didn’t notice the snake was missing until just before closing time. He checked the register and found that the baby python was not sold.
What makes matters worse, he says, the snake had just arrived at the shop on July 28. It is worth more than $500.
“It hurts that people just would steal them; not take care of them, won’t have an appropriate enclosure for them and (could) potentially kill them,” Nelson said.
He added that he thinks the thieves have plans to sell the snake.
“It’s just to make easy money in this day and age,” Nelson said. Now, Nelson is working on different ways to add more security and protection.
There’s a reward for the snake’s return, although the cash amount is undetermined now.
Anyone with information is asked to call Shreveport police at (318) 673-7300 or contact Caddo-Shreveport Crime Stoppers at (318) 673-7373.