Two rare monitor lizards stolen from Long Beach reptile store

Long Beach police are searching for three people who robbed a Long Beach reptile store of two rare monitor lizards Friday afternoon, officials said.

Police responded to JTK Reptiles on Pacific Coast Highway at about 4:20 p.m. where an employee told them the store had been robbed by three people, spokeswoman Jennifer De Prez said.

The robbers, who didn’t use weapons and didn’t injure anyone, fled the scene in a vehicle, she said. The thieves broke into the cages of the two monitors kept separately in the store, according to the owner Bryan Cho.

The robbery left him and his employees shaken up. He said the two reptiles stolen were rare Australian Lace Monitors, which can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh as much as 30 pounds. The monitors were not for sale, but owned by the store for breeding and were expensive to buy and obtain permitting for, he said.

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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.