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'Distract and dash': Woman steals python from pet store, owner says

HOUSTON – Chances are, if you blink, you'll miss it.

But after a quick rewind, the 'distract and dash' can be seen as a thief makes off with a snake in a box.

Patrick Hoang is the owner of Fish-N-Pets Unlimited in west Harris County.

He was working the register Thursday afternoon and even helping the customer turned crook moments before the crime, not knowing her true intentions.

Hoang explained, "it's not something that I experienced actually on hand in front of me you know? Normally behind me or maybe petty theft. But not actually run out of store with a pet."

Huang believes it was the very same person who called him about a half an hour earlier asking for a specific balled python valued at about $300.

"In my head, I didn't know that that could happen because it's never happened here. I thought maybe she was walking around the shop," Hoang said.

Little did the thief know, several cameras caught her every move and sprint out the store to a getaway car, leaving behind a pet shop owner not only upset to take the loss, but just as frustrated for the snake's safety.

"If you can't afford to buy a pet, then you can't afford to feed him and that would put a pet in danger," Hoang said.

That's why despite how brazen the criminal was, Hoang would rather simply have the reptile returned than make the theft a bigger issue.

"Best to return the snake. At least that way, we could take care of it. And you know, I'm willing to forgive. That's the way I am," Hoang said.

Watch the surveillance video below.


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