VIDEO: Ariz. pet store thieves stuff snakes into their shirts

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Two people were caught on camera robbing an Arizona pet shop Wednesday and the thieves were apparently after snakes. (WLS)

Two people were caught on camera robbing an Arizona pet shop Wednesday and the thieves were apparently after snakes.

How they tried to get two very pricey reptiles out of the store surprised the shop's staff.

"It looked like there was collaboration, like they knew what they were doing, and what they wanted, which ones they wanted," said Matthew Benedict, a store employee at Custom Creatures.

Surveillance video shows a young man and woman checking out the store's selection of reptiles. But what they did next had store employees at a loss for words.

"They just jammed their key into the lock and just kept wiggling it until the lock finally broke," Benedict said.

In the video the guy reaches in and immediately shoves a $500 albino red tailed python in his shirt. But the couple wasn't done yet. Moments later, the woman grabs a $450 blue-eyed lucy python and puts it in her purse.

The video shows one of the snakes wasn't too thrilled about being manhandled, slithering out of his shirt as the thief stuffs it back in.

"Jordan confronted them when they were leaving and he just stood their dumb founded," Benedict said.

The crooks pushed their way out the door, but a photo shows shop owner Jordan Moore's wrestling one of the snakes away before their escape.

Surveillance video posted to their Facebook page was shared thousands of times. Eventually someone came forward and identified the thieves, reports KNXV

And Moore gave them an ultimatum: Return the other snake in 24 hours or he'd call the police.

"Posted on Facebook, a lot of people have seen that, they know what you look like, it's time to do the right thing now,' Benedict said.

The second snake was returned to the store just before they closed Thursday night, allowing the thieves to avoid formal charges.

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pets-animalscrimetheftrobberysurveillance videosnakeArizona