September 11, 2009

Uncle, nephew charged with reptile robbery

Two North Carolina men, an uncle and his nephew, have been charged with stealing 16 snakes, 11 frogs and five lizards from a pet store, police said.

The break-in at Green Desert Reptiles in Waynesville was discovered Sept. 1, police said. Officers called to the store found snakes slithering around and a hole that had been broken through from a vacant space next door that had housed a defunct night club, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.

While Detective Tamara Vander Molen was meeting with Allen Rivera, owner of Green Desert, and the owner of a nearby store, Tropical Shop, a man came in with two snakes he said he purchased from Terry Carver.

Molen searched Carver's home with a search warrant and found most of Rivera's missing snakes along with an albino cobra. The lizards were also recovered but the Malaysian leaf frogs are still missing.

Carver and his nephew have both been charged with burglary.