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ST. LOUIS COUNTY – Thieves pretending to be customers steal and drive off with a boa constrictor.

It happened at the Exotic Amphibian Reptile Center on Lemay Ferry Road in South St. Louis County.

“The entire box, the whole cage and took it,” said owner James Brumley about the Sunday theft.

Brumley said the two women posing as customers first inquired about a particular pet. “The girl (employee) was here by herself so she had to go the other room to get it,” explained Brumley.

Brumley said that’s when the two women saw an opportunity and went through with their plan to steal the boa while in its cage before driving off with the reptile.

“The girl that was working said that as she realized they grabbed it and came outside as the car drove off and heard someone scream,” Brumley said. That’s because he believes the boa may have bitten one of them.

“There’s some justice there,” he said, “this particular one is real aggressive.”

Brumley said the store has had its share of thefts but most of the thieves are caught thanks to these cameras.

A fire inside of the center back in November put the technology out of commission while forcing him to move a lot of the animals into a small trailer.

“It’s upsetting because they hit a place that’s so small,” said Brumley, “and a lot of times we struggle to keep things going as it is.”

Brumley said the reptile community runs pretty small so if anyone happens to come across the thieves handling the reptiles, please call the center at (314) 631-7272 or contact St. Louis County Police who confirm that a report has been filed.

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