Man charged with stealing snakes from pet shop
Police: 26-year-old tried to sell 13 stolen snakes on Craigslist
CALLAHAN, Fla. – A convicted thief who was caught selling stolen goods on Craigslist has been arrested again -- this time charged with stealing 13 snakes from a Callahan pet shop, according to the Nassau County Sheriff's Office.
Aaron Trent Devereaux (pictured), 26, was arrested and charged with burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property after the owner of the Pet Stop spotted some of the stolen snakes for sale on Craigslist.
Detectives investigated and set up a sting, arranging to buy some of the snakes in a meeting with Devereaux at a truck supply stop near Intestate 295. Devereaux handed over a black backpack with four snakes inside, and detectives arrested him.
Most of the 13 stolen snakes have been returned, but two -- a red tail boa and a ball python -- are still missing. Most of the snakes stolen were pythons valued at $4,585.
Gin Dubberly, manager of the Pet Stop, said one of the snakes that was returned had been taken all the way to Deltona.
Nassau County deputies said Devereaux took the snakes from the store on U.S. 1 in Callahan over the course of two days last month.
Dubberly said she thinks he crawled through a window that was left unlocked near the store's guard parrot, "Johnny," which can imitate an alarm.
"You could tell by the ones he took and the ones he left behind that he didn't know anything about snakes," Dubberly said. "He didn't even grab the most valuable ones. He just randomly shoved some in a backpack. So I knew he was going to sell them. There was no breeding in his mind or keeping them for value."
So Dubberly checked Craigslist, and sure enough found the snakes listed for sale, starting with "Alice," a green tree python valued at $600, which Devereaux was selling for $150.
"When he posted her, she was still sitting on her stick that's in there, and he put her inside the critter-keeper and left the paper inside the critter-keeper with our price on it and everything like that," Dubberly said. "And it just so happened in the picture you could see her scars from the way she was laying. "
Alice has burn marks from getting too close to the bulb in her cage.
Detectives said they were pretty scared to touch the snakes when they found them, so they called Dubberly and said she could come pick them up.
"He was like, 'I don't know if we have them all, but I know we have the green one, because she's not happy,' talking about Alice," Dubberly said.
Alice has fangs, but like her two missing friends, is not poisonous. One of the missing snakes, a silver ball python named "Harley," belongs to Dubberly, who said she's heartbroken that Harley wasn't recovered.
Devereaux had been arrested previously for stealing trailers from the Callahan area and selling them on Craig's List. After his conviction, Devereaux was sentenced to 18 months in the Florida prison system and was released from the Florida Department of Corrections on March 30. The snakes were stolen from Pet Stop on April 28.
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