OLDSMAR, Fla. — A New Port Richey woman and her accused accomplice are facing grand theft charges after investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office say the two stole not one, but two boa constrictors from a local exotic reptile store.
Two albino tortoises are also missing from the store.
Bob Potts is owner of the Herp Hobby Shop in Oldsmar and tells 10News a woman walked in and told an employee she wanted to purchase pet food. When the employee went to the back of the store, Potts says the woman was caught on his video surveillance system stealing a snake and its entire enclosure.
Potts says the woman accidently left her cell phone behind in the store and waited for the employee to go back into the back again before retrieving her phone and stealing a second snake.
Deputies say the exotic reptiles are valued at approximately $900.
Deputies later identified the two suspects as 19-year-old Jeremy Lawson and 18-year-old Nicole Odierno, of New Port Richey. Lawson and Odierno both turned themselves into deputies.
Deputies recovered the two Aztec boa constrictors and returned them to the victim at the Herp Hobby Shop. The two albino tortoises have not been recovered.Lawson and Odierno were both arrested and charged with one count of Grand Theft and were transported to the Pinellas County Jail.