Great "Snake" Robbery Takes Dangerous Turn

SEPTEMBER 17, 2007 - Posted at 10 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - A timber rattlesnake is one reptile you'd only want to touch with a ten foot pole.

But, one not-so-smooth criminal wanted to take a more "hands-on" approach.

Someone broke into the Crowley's Ridge Nature Center in south Jonesboro on Sunday night broke through a glass cage and tried to take a rattlesnake home with him.

You can probably guess what happened ... he got bit.

Sources say someone came into the St. Bernard's Medical Center's emergency room that same night with a snake bite.

All that was left at the scene of the crime was a trail of broken glass and a tiny bit of blood that police will use for DNA evidence.

"Well, of course we come in and we're expecting an easy day and it's like "oh man." It was just kind of obvious that they came in, did this and left, which is not a smart thing to do. You don't want to try to reach down in there and grab a snake," said Shaun Merrill of the Crowley's Ridge Nature Center.

According to the nature center, that snake wasn't a pygmy rattler but one of the larger, Timber rattlesnakes.

These snakes are found all around Craighead County, which begs the question why go after such a dangerous creature when you could stumble across one in the woods? Is it really worth that much money?

"Maybe $300, but definitetly not worth it because he'll bite and he's a big snake," said Merrill.

Jonesboro Police say no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.

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