The Latest – Tuesday, May 17:

8:50 p.m.

Carter’s Pet Mart said the snakes were returned to the shop on Tuesday. 

According to Carter’s, someone convinced two of the boys to return the snakes to the store. They returned to the store with an adult and said a dare allegedly led to the theft.


Original story below:

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Over $1,400 worth of snakes were stolen from Carter’s Pet Mart in Stockton Sunday.

According to the Carter’s Pet Mart Facebook page, three young males entered the store around 6:42 p.m., grabbed the snakes, left the store, and got into a newer model 4-door Ford truck.

The owner of Carter’s Pet Mart, Ryan Carter, said that surveillance videos showed three male suspects walk into the store on Sunday just before closing. The trio looked around and even checked for security as well as peeked into the office before heading to the reptile display.

“They broke off the locks,” said Carter. “They kind of seem like they knew what they were doing, and went in and each one grabbed a bin and casually walked out the store with them.”

Once out of the store, the trio ran to a truck waiting for them in the parking lot and took off with the stolen ball pythons, according to Carter.

Carter has upgraded surveillance cameras and added security but said there is not much that deters shoplifters.

“I’ve hired more people for the floor,” Carter said. “I feel like we are doing everything possible, but it just comes to if these people want what they want they’re going to go at any lengths to get it you know. And us as business owners, we only have so much that we can do.”

For Carter, the snakes are more than a lost sale; it is about the animal’s well-being.

“Money is replaceable, you know. Business goes on but when someone comes in and just takes that, you know, they’re not in their proper care containers,” Carter said. “I doubt that they’re going to have proper experience, proper care for them, and you know, we worry about their long-term health.”

Carter’s Pet Mart is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to information about the thieves and the return of their snakes. Send any information to ryan.carter@carterspetmart.com.