PORTLAND, Ore. - A snake thief smuggled a 2-foot-long python from a Portland pet store by stuffing it down his pants.
Sgt. Greg Stewart said no arrests have been made in Friday's theft. But Christin Bjugan, an owner of A to Z pet store, said video surveillance has helped viewers and police detectives identify a suspect, and she expects to have the snake returned soon.
"We know who did it," she said Monday. "We know where he lives, we know where he works, we know all about him and his girlfriend. We're just waiting to get our snake back."
Bjugan said when she came to the shop, they noticed the snake was missing and locks on the top of the cage were unlatched.
They went back and watched the surveillance video, which showed the suspect with a blue-haired woman who appeared to be in on the theft. He handed her some keys before taking the snake from a tank and putting it in his pants.
"We thought 'Oh my gosh, he put it in his pants!' " she said. "He opened up the front, dropped it in, situated it, adjusted himself, and walked out!"
Is that normal?
"It is not normal," she added. "That is not a place you want to put a snake."
She adds it was "pretty gutsy" for the man to put the python down his pants, and potentially a bad move because it was close to feeding day.
On the other hand, she added, the snake does like warm, dark places, and they are typically a docile snake.
The snake is a black pastel ball python and sells for $200.
"We have a cheap price, usually they go for about $400," Bjugan said.
Stewart said the department has investigated thefts at pet stores, but this is the first time it has involved someone putting a snake in their pants. It also seemed more purposeful than usual.
"If you look at the theft of stuff from pet stores, a lot of times it's someone wandering in drunk and doing something stupid," he said. "This one's a little bit different, although putting a snake down your pants is not super bright. There's a lot of different ways that could go wrong."