Snakebitten snake thieves? Stolen boa constrictor may have left mark on suspects, store owner says

The owner of an exotic pet store in Missouri believes that the two women who allegedly stole a three- to four-foot-long “aggressive” boa constrictor -- and its whole cage -- from his shop Sunday may have been bitten by the snake.

Jim Brumley, owner of the Exotic Amphibian and Reptile Center in Lemay, Mo., said two women in their 30s arrived Sunday looking to buy a large rodent. They allegedly instead swiped a 2-year-old Columbian red-tailed boa constrictor inside its plastic cage when the female store clerk was not looking.


This Sept. 19, 2014 photo provided by the San Diego County Department of Animal Services shows a boa constrictor that has been seized from a man in San Diego, Calif. Authorities said Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014  that 27-year-old Travis Eisner-Young was arrested while driving his pedicab Sept. 16. When police found him, he had a ball python around his neck. After learning that Eisner-Young had at least one more snake, Animal Services officers went to his hotel room and found a boa constrictor, seen in this photo, in poor condition. (AP Photo/San Diego County Department of Animal Services)

A boa constrictor is seen in San Diego, Calif., Sept. 19, 2014. (Associated Press)​​​​​

"The girl that was working said that as she realized they grabbed it and came outside as the car drove off she heard someone scream," Brumley told FOX 2 St. Louis, explaining why he believes the thieves were likely bitten by the large snake as they drove off.

"This particular one was not tame," Brumley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It was just real aggressive and can bite."

The pet store owner does not believe the women could have been seriously harmed because the boa has “teeth like a kitten” and when it bites "it startles you more than anything."

Brumley said the snake was on sale for $149 at his shop. He said the theft hit him hard because he’s still been trying to pay to repair his shop after a fire last year. The owner has been conducting business out of two separate trailers in the meantime.

“It’s upsetting because they hit a place that’s so small,” Brumley told FOX 2. “A lot of times we struggle to keep things going as it is.”


Brumley filed a report with St. Louis County Police and notified other pet store owners of the alleged theft in case the women try to sell the large snake. It is a felony to steal an animal in the state of Missouri. Brumley admitted that his surveillance cameras were damaged in the fire and, therefore, not working to capture the crime on video.