This is the shocking moment a man stole a 4-and-a-half-foot snake from a Michigan pet store by stuffing it down his pants and walking around inside the venue for four minutes before paying for a rat and leaving.
A surveillance video from last Wednesday around 5.40pm shows a male reaching into a cage containing Pasta the python and lingering a parrot cage with his hands moving in the lower region of his body.
‘The staff at I Love My Pets are in disbelief… someone stole our beautiful ball python who had just been adopted and was going home the same day he was stolen,’ Emily Scheiwe wrote on Facebook.
The suspect had been asking about snakes and the incident took place when an employee stepped away for a moment.
She added: ‘I wish he would’ve bit him, but he’s a pretty tame snake. Would’ve been a much better video if he was on the ground in agony. Instant karma.’
After the bizarre moment the suspect moves around the store in the Downriver community of Rockwood without a flinch, even casually stopping at the cash register to pay $6 for a rodent. So at the time of the theft, employees had no suspicions.
But some social media users noted staff would not have noticed because their physical presence is rare.
Some viewers of the video noted the lack of staff around at the time, saying there should be more than one person working and the cash register should always have someone present.
Scheiwe agreed, writing: ‘Yeah totally, we will definitely be making some changes!’
One person said they were once in the store for more than an hour and there was nobody up front the entire time.
Another claimed they were in the store 80 minutes after the alleged theft and staff had no clue what had happened to the snake even at that time.
‘My boyfriend and I went in there around 7 that day and one of the employees thought the snake got out and was looking for it,’ Alexandra Kobielski replied on Facebook. ‘That’s f**ked up.’
It was only after realizing the serpent could not have escaped without help that they checked the security recording.
They had to watch the clip a couple of times to make sure their eyes were not deceiving them.
Callie McElroy, who also works at the store, told WXYZ that they were baffled at his calm demeanor.
‘We see him walking around after and we’re just like how is he doing that?’ she recalled them asking themselves. ‘The last thing we were expecting was to check the video and take a closer look and see a man putting it down the front of his pants, we were not expecting that at all. We couldn’t fathom the way someone could sneak a snake that big out of a store like that.
‘I wouldn’t be that calm with a giant python down my pants.’
Employee Scheiwe was uncertain of the suspect’s motives. She told WDIV she’s worked at the store four years and has never had anyone steal an animal, ‘especially a 4-foot, girthy python’.
‘You can get a normal ball python like this for under $100. There are much more expensive types of ball pythons that will run you a couple of thousands of dollars,’ Scheiwe wrote on Facebook. ‘I wonder what this guy’s intentions are for the snake since they’re not worth too much.
Props: Daily Mail