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Police: Thief Steals 36 Snakes Worth $30,000 From Reptile Store

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File photo of a python. (credit: MALTE CHRISTIANS/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a python. (credit: MALTE CHRISTIANS/AFP/Getty Images)

GASTONIA, N.C. (CBS Charltote/AP) — Why did it have to be snakes?

Police in Gastonia say someone has stolen three dozen snakes from a reptile store.

Police say someone broke the glass on the front door of Reptile Passions and took the snakes early Sunday.

Owner Jonathan McMillan says motion-activated surveillance cameras caught the suspect, who at one point said into a cellphone that the store had pythons. Most of the stolen snakes were albino pythons and ball pythons. One of the snakes was valued at $12,000. The total loss is estimated at $30,000.

“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,” McMillan told WSOC-TV.

McMillan said the thief knew exactly where to go to grab the snakes and toss them all in one bag.

“Whoever it was had to have been in here very recently because I move a lot of stuff around,” McMillan told WSOC. “They busted through the window, came straight in, straight to the one that had the most expensive snake in it.”

Another dealer said it’s likely the thief will try to sell the snakes on the Internet.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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