by: Eric Philips Updated:
GASTONIA, N.C. - Police in Gastonia are trying to track down the thieves who broke into a reptile store this weekend and stole several snakes.
Officers said that someone broke into the store on West Franklin Boulevard around 3 a.m. Sunday.
Surveillance video shows someone stealing several snakes and exotic animals -- including a python valued at $12,000.
Audio from that surveillance footage indicated that the thief was on the phone with someone as he stole the snakes.
“Whoever it was had to have been in here very recently because I move a lot of stuff around. They busted through the window, came straight in, straight to the one that had the most expensive snake in it,” said the store’s owner, Jonathan McMillan.
That snake, a pied tiger reticulated python, is valued at $12,500. The thief took a total of 36 snakes.
They stole albino pythons, albino super tigers, albino red tail boas and albino pythons, totaling about $30,000.
McMillan opened the shop about four months ago and had not gotten all of his insurance in order.
Everything from the broken door to the stolen snakes will come out of his pocket.
He has a message for the man who did this.
“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 said.