On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at 1:19 p.m., a grown man and a grown woman walked into Uptown Pets. The male broke into a secure reptile habitat and stole a red Ambanja panther chameleon, worth over $900, while the female distracted store workers.
The male and female left the store without paying the chameleon. Store employees recognized the suspects as former customers. Other reptiles were also found missing after previous visits by the suspects.
The store manager reviewed CCTV footage and saw the suspect steal the chameleon. Deputy Stephanie Olvera documented the initial theft, reviewed the footage and used city cameras to identify the suspect’s vehicle.
On Friday April 22, 2022, the male suspect was identified as Darrien Green. Deputy Olvera and Detective Daniel Shelton questioned and arrested Green in Beaumont. The chameleon was found in a residence in Cabazon. The chameleon lost its color but was otherwise healthy. A search of Green’s residence resulted in the recovery of two previously stolen Sulcata tortoises. All three reptiles were returned to Uptown Pets. Green was incarcerated at the Central Detention Center for PC 459 – Burglary.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Yucaipa Station. Callers wishing to remain anonymous should call the We-Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or visit wetip.com.