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Couple steals baby python from pet store on Valentine’s Day

February 17, 2012 |  9:15 am

It's not exactly chocolate and roses, but perhaps one man in Northern California was trying to think outside the box.

Authorities say that on Valentine's Day a guy in a maroon hat took a woman into a pet store called Serpentarium in Elk Grove and snatched a baby Ball python.

"He kind of opens it up, puts it in his pocket, and walks off," said Robert Coral, owner of the store south of Sacramento.

Coral says the pair of reptile robbers had been casing his store for several minutes. First, they broke the lock on the Ball python's cage. Next, a few minutes later, they made-off with the baby Ball.

"That they did it so boldly, right in front of people ... there were other customers in the store," Coral said. "Ridiculous."

The baby Ball was bred by Coral. It was the offspring of two pythons with different coloration patterns on their backs. About 25% of the snake babies born from such a union are known as Bumblebee Ball Pythons.

The bright yellow webbed patterns on the backs of those snakes make them so desirable. This python was selling for $475.

Coral has offered a reward of $100 for the return of the python, but he says if the sinister serpent snatchers bring his baby back on their own, he won't press charges.

-- Ben Deci, Fox 40 Sacramento

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