Panther chameleon stolen in Berks County

BOYERTOWN, Pa. - An exotic chameleon worth hundreds of dollars has been swiped from a pet store in Berks County and the whole thing was caught on camera.

Zimmers Pets in Boyertown is renowned for its reptile collection and draws buyers from all over the area.

But one man clearly had no intention of buying one of the store's rarest chameleons when he stole the animal.

Surprisingly, the owners say they believe the culprit is a regular customer and police are working to identify him.

"He's a regular, which is the shocking part to this thing. And he had his daughter with him also," said owner Kevin Zimmer.

Surveillance video shows the man entering the store's reptile room around midday on Wednesday.

He can be seen scoping out the camera and ultimately carries out a lizard heist by stuffing the lizard into his jacket.

"The panther chameleon is one of the better breeds because it's a larger chameleon. It has a better longevity than a lot of the small ones,” said Zimmers.

"It's an old world chameleon where their hands are like scissor grips," adds Zimmers.

The panther chameleon retails for $450 dollars.

"The hardiness of a panther chameleon is what you're paying for," according to Zimmers.

Even though the lizard is hardy, Zimmers says it bothers him to not know if the animal is being cared for.

Boyertown police are now looking to identify the man but Zimmers is just worried about his treasured reptile.

"I'm hoping to get the lizard back and that the lizard is in good health," said Zimmers.


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