Police recover 6ft lizards worth $75,000 stolen from reptile store – NBC Los Angeles
California police have announced two arrests and the return of a pair of unique lizards that were stolen from a reptile store last year.
The Long Beach Police Department said Friday that the two Australian lace monitors were stolen from JTK Reptiles in Long Beach in November.
The lizards, which can grow to over 6 feet long, together were valued at $75,000.
Three people entered the store, broke into the cages containing the lizards and escaped to a waiting car, authorities said.
Police tracked the lizards to a home in Panorama City on September 23. Jose Luis Macias Jr., 30, and Kassandra Marie Duenas, 27, who were in the home at the time, were arrested and charged with second-degree robbery.
Both men were released on $50,000 bail, police said.
Detectives recover lizards worth $75,000 🦎 • Most theft cases involving retail items don’t come with literal tails, but…
Animal control officers were called to retrieve the lizards before they were returned to their owners, Long Beach Police Department spokesman Brandon Fahey said.
The suspects “appear to be aware of the lizards, the value of the lizards, and the sale of the lizards,” Fahey said.
Fahey declined to say how detectives found the animals.
“As far as I know the lizards were A-OK,” Fahey said. “We were lucky there.”
The store owner declined to comment on Monday.