PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - Burglars targeted a pet store, not for the cash inside, but for snakes. Two men broke into Land and Sea Exotic Pet Store in Dallas early this week.
Police said the men were in the store for about forty minutes and knew exactly what they were getting. They left the cash in the cash register and just grabbed some of the most expensive snakes and ran out the door. Police said the thieves got away with six hybrid snakes, two bearded dragons and several tanks.
Sal Moen noticed the burglary when he came into the store Monday morning.
"Six of the drawers were hanging out when I walked in and then we went through and our tanks were missing in the front, the backdoor was pulled open and our bearded dragon cages were open and they were missing," said Moen.
Moen said the thieves pried the back door open and went straight for the hybrid snakes, some of which retail at $450.
"They are highly sought after because they are hybrid snakes. They have a good market value," said Moen.
They are not the most expensive snakes in the shop, but said Moen he knows why the burglars left those behind.
"They're not going to try for the big snakes because they don't know if they're going to bite, so it's somebody who is inexperienced or somebody is just stupid," said Moen.
If they are armatures, Moen worries they may not know how to care for the snakes.
"Every week they need to be fed rodents; live not frozen, we don't believe in that. They need warmth, they got to stay warm," Moen said fighting back tears.
This shop is very personal to Moen and these reptiles are like family. He said he could care less about the money he's out, but he does care about these reptiles and has a message for the men who took them.
"If you bring them back I won't press charges. I will drop it, but I want it all back. If you stole them, you can't take care of them," said Moen.
The men dropped two of the snakes as they made their getaway. Both snakes are accounted for, and expected to be okay.