Baby ball python stolen from pet store; reward offered

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A local pet store is asking for help in locating a baby albino ball python stolen from its cage.

The baby one foot python was stolen from The Pet Zone store in Shreveport on a busy Saturday afternoon.

Store manager Zachary Nelson says it wasn’t a one-man job.

“Three people ended up waiting for an open opportunity,” Nelson said, adding he couldn’t believe anyone would sink so low.

The robbery happened around 4:53 p.m. Saturday and was caught on camera.

Nelson said there were locks in front of the cages, but said the thief must have figured out how to pop the lock, quickly put his arm in the cage and grab the baby snake.

The flight was easy to do, Nelson added, because this type of snake can curl up in your hand – hence the name “ball python”.

“After catching the snake, he practically asked his accomplice to get the purse ready,” Nelson said. “He grabbed it and just slipped it into her purse, and she just tightened it next to her and walked through the doors.”

Nelson, who has worked with Pet Zone for over six years, says it all happened quickly.

He says he didn’t notice the snake disappearing until just before closing time. He checked the registry and found that the baby python was not sold.

Worse still, he said, the snake had just arrived at the store on July 28. It is worth over $500.

“It hurts that people steal them; won’t take care of them, won’t have a proper enclosure for them and (could) potentially kill them,” Nelson said.

He added that he thinks the thieves intend to sell the snake.

“It’s just to make easy money these days,” Nelson said. Now Nelson is working on different ways to add more security and protection.

There is a reward for returning the snake, although the cash amount is undetermined at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call Shreveport Police at (318) 673-7300 or contact Caddo-Shreveport Crime Stoppers at (318) 673-7373.

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