Surveillance camera captures man stealing snake from Lake St. Lo -

Surveillance camera captures man stealing snake from Lake St. Louis pet store

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A man caught on camera stuffing a rare snake into his pocket is wanted by Lake St. Louis Police.

Last week, the man went into the Petland store on Ronald Reagan Dr. two different times on the same day. Store surveillance video shows the first time he went into the store he was with a women and young girl. He did not steal the snake.

Later in the day, the suspect returned to the store with two other people and stole the Pearl Island Boa worth $250. The video shows him stuffing the snake into his pants pocket, then leaving the store.

“It looked pretty thought out,” said Alex Matijevich, an employee at the store.

Within the last six months, News 4 has covered two separate incidents of stolen exotic pets. In September, surveillance caught a man shoving a live alligator in his pocket at an exotic pet store. In November, a teenager stole a python from a south St. Louis County Pet store. He was arrested and charged.

“I definitely think it's the same kinds of people, same group,” said Matijevich. “Basically they are taking expensive stuff, probably selling it for half the price and making a quick buck.”

Lake St. Louis Police are searching for the suspect. Meanwhile, Petland is adding more surveillance cameras and keeping a closer eye on expensive pets.

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