Stolen rare monitor lizards reunited with owner nearly a year after robbery

Two monitor lizards are back home with their owner nearly a year after they were stolen from a reptile store in Central Long Beach, police announced Friday.

The lizards, which are Australian Lace Monitors worth over $75,000, were stolen from JTK Reptiles on the afternoon of Nov. 29 last year. Three people walked in and broke into the cages of the two monitors and fled in a vehicle, the owner said at the time.

Few details were immediately available on how they found the suspects, but a police spokesman said detectives arrested two people on Sept. 23 and found the lizards with them in Panorama City.

Police arrested 30-year-old Jose Macias Jr. and 27-year-old Kassandra Duenas, both from Panorama City, on suspicion of second degree robbery. They have since been released after posting bond on $50,000 bail.

Two rare monitor lizards stolen from Long Beach reptile store

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Valerie Osier is the Social Media & Newsletter Manager for the Long Beach Post. She started at the Post in 2018 as a breaking news reporter. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from the Cal State Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and two cats.