When you walk through the doors of Custom Creatures off 19th and Peoria avenues, the first thing you see is a sign that reads "Smile you're on camera" — but that didn't stop two crooks from stashing two snakes in some very unusual places.
"It looked like there was collaborations— like they knew what they were doing, and what they wanted, which ones they wanted," said store employee Matthew Benedict.
Matthew Benedict is talking about a couple that came into their store Wednesday. Surveillance video shows a young man and woman checking out the store's selection of reptiles, but what they do next had store employees at a loss for words.
"They just jammed their key into the cages lock and just kept wiggling it until the lock finally broke," said Benedict.
In the video, the young man 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 grabbed a $450 Blue Eyed Lucy Python and put it in her purse. The video shows one of the snakes wasn't too thrilled about being manhandled.
"Jordan, the store owner, confronted them when they were leaving and he just stood there dumbfounded," said Benedict.
Surveillance video posted to the shop's Facebook page was shared thousands of times. Eventually someone came forward and identified the thieves and Moore gave them an ultimatum: Return the other snake in 24 hours or he'd call the police.
"With it posted on Facebook, a lot of people have seen that, they know what you look like, its time to do the right thing now," said Benedict in a message to the crooks.
In the end, the crooks took Moore up on his offer and returned the final snake to the store just before it closed Thursday night.