National News

Rare Reptile Ripped From Cage In Sacramento Pet Store

Posted June 6, 2018 12:39 p.m. EDT

— A rare reptile worth thousands of dollars was ripped from its cage and the owner hopes someone recognizes the man in this surveillance video.

"I don't think that the person who stole Albi was thinking about that," said Grant Garton who owns GX3 Reptiles and Exotic Pets.

The store on Freeport Boulevard is one of a kind and it has only been open a month, but already has suffered a major loss.

Garton's pet lizard Albi, an albino Tegu on display, was swiped from her sanctuary.

"Definitely miss her and just want to get her back," he told KOVR-TV's Jennifer McGraw.

The skin-crawling crime was all caught on camera.

"He just kind of came in and paced around here, checked everything out," he said.

An employee was in the back filling an order when the alleged suspect tried opening multiple doors and finally found one that was unlocked.

"It happened so quick," said Bill Bennett who was working Tuesday afternoon when it happened. "The guy was in here 2 minutes or less."

Grant has had Albi for two years and has raised her since she hatched.

"It's the rarest of the Tegu's," Garton said. "She had a great personality, she was very easy-going, laid-back."

Now her health may be in jeopardy.

"I am very concerned that something bad can happen to Albi. That's one of my primary concerns," Garton added. "They just saw something that, oh that looks expensive and I'll take it and sell it to somebody make a quick buck."

Albi's worth up to $5,000 on the market, but Garton said she's not for sale.

"I'd bring in some of my pets here to show on display so that people can see some stuff that you normally don't see," he said. "It kind of sucks that some people can't appreciate that."

He's disappointed humankind could be so cold-blooded and slither off without a trace.

"This has kind of been 10 years of working towards opening a store and to get hit with something like that and we're just trying to get by and pay the bills and everything, it is a significant hit," he said.

The owner is hoping surveillance video will help lead to an arrest, but regardless just wants Albi back and is offering a $1,000 reward.

For the thief who took her, bring her back and there will be no questions asked.

The Sacramento Police Department is investigating the crime of burglary and grand theft, both felony charges.