Burglars steal more than 20 snakes and geckos during raid on pet store (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Burglars steal more than 20 snakes and geckos during raid on Middlesbrough pet store
BURGLARS have made off with thousands of pounds worth of exotic pets after they forced their way into a specialist shop.
More than 20 animals, including boa constrictors and geckos, were taken when the thieves smashed open display cases and removed them.
The burglary took place at Pet Mania on Skippers Lane Retail Park, South Bank, near Middlesbrough, overnight on Sunday.
Store manager Carl Dobbs was devastated when he discovered the smashed up cabinets in the recently opened pet shop.
He said: “It was absolutely heartbreaking to discover the shop this morning. Obviously, they have targeted the shop, but I think they have just been looking at the price tags and stealing the most expensive ones.
“It doesn’t look like they were very professional as they smashed the glass on the cases and that could have easily injured the animals. It has been especially upsetting as some of the young snakes that have been stolen are ones that I helped to rear.”
Among the stolen reptiles are Peruvian Longtail Boa, Dwarf Salmon Boa, Dwarf Fusion Boa, two Blood Pythons, Jungle High Yellow Carpet Python, Nicaraguan Dwarf Boa, Salmon Hypo Boa, Pastel Boa, Salmon Jungle High Expression, Salmon Jungle Low Expression, Bredli Python, two Hognose Snakes – these are the mildly poisonous, but not deadly ones and four Leopard Geckos.
He added: “Only two of the snakes are mildly poisonous with a bite from them feeling like a bee sting, however, all the reptiles are supposed to live in carefully controlled environments with temperature controlled tanks.
“Some of the reptiles have special feeding requirements which if it isn’t followed could mean that they will not survive and that would be devastating.
"Hopefully, all of the animals will be returned safely, but until we have carried out a full stock check we won’t know exactly how many have been stolen.”
Anyone who may have been offered any snakes for sale or who has other information is asked to contact PC Stephen Woodacre at Cleveland Police on 101. Alternatively people can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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