Forrest City Bandits Use Snakes to Steal Car

AUGUST 30, 2006 - Posted at 7:44 a.m. CDT

FORREST CITY, AR - Police in Forrest City are investigating the use of snakes in a car theft.

Officers say three people carrying baby snakes walked into a convenience store Sunday and scared two employees into the back of the building, then took car keys a clerk left behind and stole her car.

The car was wrecked during a chase later.

Clerk Bethany Hatcher said she couldn't find her keys after the snake scare, and four hours later saw someone taking her car from the store's parking lot.  She reported it stolen and about midnight Sunday deputies in Lee County said they were chasing the car, which had been at the scene of a grocery store break-in.

The car's driver returned to Forrest City and, when police tried to stop the car, four people jumped out and ran away.  The car kept moving and struck a natural gas meter and a building before stopping in a ditch.

Four people were arrested, including a 15-year-old juvenile.

No word on the fate of the snakes.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)