Police in Gastonia, North Carolina, are searching for a crook who broke into a reptile store and stole 36 snakes on Sunday.
The owner of Reptile Passions, Jonathan McMillan, says motion-activated surveillance captured the thief breaking in through the glass door.
Once inside, the suspect spoke to someone on his cell phone and confirmed that the store had pythons. Mostly albino pythons and ball pythons were taken.
McMillan estimates the total loss is $30,000. One of the snakes, a tiger pied reticulated python, is worth $12,500, WSOC-TV reports.
McMillan said the suspect looked as though he knew where to find the snakes he wanted.
“Whoever it was had to have been in here very recently because I move a lot of stuff around,” McMillan said. “They busted through the window, came straight in, straight to the one that had the most expensive snake in it.”
The suspect dumped all of the reptiles into the same bag.
Another dealer told the News & Record that the snakes will probably be sold on the Internet.
McMillan said the theft is a major setback for him. He opened the store four months ago and does not have all of his insurance in order.
But he did have a message for the suspect: “I'm going to find you, that you can bet on, because you have one of the only snakes around here and no one else has it so you will get caught.”