ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A Festus man tells police that he dropped a stolen Boa Constrictor at a local Lowes store. Lowe's officials say they never found the snake
Inside Exotic Amphibian and Reptile Center on Lemay Ferry, owner James Brumley showed us the cage where a Brazilian Rainbow Boa Constrictor was stolen.
"The way it works is these locks go through these rings," Brumley said. "And somebody was able to just take the whole ring off. But we're getting ready to change that. We're going to put a solid lock on here and that'll change all that."
Brumley said the theft happened in November. And right away, his staff knew something was up.
"The kids who were working that night saw him," Brumley said. "They saw the snake was missing. The guy wasn't acting right. He got out of door real quick. They watched him run to his car."
So Brumley and his staff checked their security cameras. They have 16 on the premises. There they found some images, which they promptly posted on Facebook.
"We took a copy, gave it to police," Brumley said. "They looked at it, didn't know quite who it was. Then we put it on Facebook and within a few minutes it blew up and people knew exactly who he was."
This is not the first time Brumley has captured a criminal by posting surveillance images on Facebook. In March of last year, Brumley also caught a crook who removed a reptile. And posting images on Facebook has given this store owner a crime-busting tool.
"Oh yeah, we've caught probably half a dozen people just on Facebook," he said. "Previous to that, it took a lot of work. But now it's real easy. We've got 16 cameras here. So we can catch people inside and outside the building. Once we post it on Facebook, we find out who they are right away and it's over."
Twenty-year-old Marshall Parsons of Festus has been charged with felony stealing an animal.
Lowe's Corporate Public Relations Manager Karen Cobb said, "As part of Lowe’s routine maintenance, stores are regularly inspected by licensed, third-party pest inspectors. Since November – the time this was alleged to have occurred - the Festus store has had three regular pest inspections. The most recent inspection was February 3. No reptile was found during any of the inspections."