A CLUMSY crook who made off with a snake from a local reptile park didn't slither far after a forensic investigator found he not only left his phone at the crime scene, he posted a photo of the stolen animal on Facebook.
About 5.30am yesterday, Snakes Downunder Reptile Park owner Ian Jenkins found his business had been broken into and Titch, a young pygmy python, had been stolen from her enclosure.
"She might be worth a couple of thousand dollars but that's not what I was worried about," he said.
"It's her safety we were worried about.
"Because she's so small, she gains heat very quickly so she could overheat and die."
Mr Jenkins was quick to call the police, who sent out a forensic officer to examine the scene.
"Our very alert scenes of crime officer, who attended the scene, located the offender's phone in a matter of seconds," Bundaberg police Sergeant Mike McLellan said.
"He found it in the dirt of the snake pit and in a few seconds, all was revealed."
Sgt McLellan said the phone, along with a Facebook photo showing the snake, led officers right to the door of a 14-year-old boy who, at this stage, has not been charged over the offence.
Mr Jenkins said he was thrilled Titch had been returned.
"It's a bit of a wake-up call to us to look at upgrading security," he said.
"We don't want anything like this to happen again."
Mr Jenkins said it appeared the offender knew what he was looking for, heading right to Titch's enclosure and taking no other snakes.
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