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Posted by W von Papinešu on May 01, 2003 at 21:26:43:
DAILY NEWS (Longview, Washington) 29 April 03 Police seek information on chameleon caper (Leslie Slape)
Burglars struck a pet shop Sunday night in what Perry Mason's creator might have called "The Case of the Kidnapped Chameleon."
Owner Michael Sparacino said it's about as lousy a Monday morning as he's ever had. And don't even ask how he feels about it happening on his 32nd birthday.
When he arrived at Alpha Pets, 852 Vandercook Way, he discovered that someone had broken the garage window, entered the business, destroyed the cash register and stolen all of Sunday's proceeds.
The thieves also swiped a box of checks, two DVD players, a Nautica duffle bag and a three-horned Jackson's chameleon.
"I was all excited, too. I couldn't wait 'til Monday morning," Sparacino said. "When I saw that, I was so disheartened."
He said he and his wife, Sherry, who bought the business in August, had finally gotten more than 1,400 gallons' worth of freshwater and saltwater aquariums ready for occupation.
"That was going to be our goal this week, to load all our tanks up (with fish)," he said.
Instead, the money went toward a security system.
He said the thief or thieves must have gotten cut during the burglary because he found blood all over the store.
As for the Jackson's chameleon, Sparacino said it's a little harder to find, a little more expensive than an ordinary lizard. It's greenish and measures about 4 to 5 inches long.
Anyone with information on the burglary should contact Longview Police, 577-3157.