Arrest Made In Knifepoint Robbery Of Local Pet Shop; Stolen Snakes Recovered

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

HILLSBORO (February 14, 2013)-A man wanted in the knifepoint theft of four snakes from the Waco PetSmart store was in custody Thursday after a car chase Wednesday night in northern Hill County.

Itasca police Detective George Willoughby said officers attempted to stop a driver on a traffic violation but as the driver stopped, he attempted to run down the officer and sped away.

Willoughby said the suspect was clocked at 102 miles per hour heading north on I-35.

Police finally were able to stop the speeding driver after DPS troopers laid spike strips near Waxahachie and placed him under arrest.

Ramando Hughes, 24, was held in the Hill County Jail Thursday facing evading arrest charges, Itasca Police said.

When police searched the silver Silverado pickup truck Hughes was driving they found a knife, and four snakes that they later learned had been stolen earlier in the evening from the PetSmart store.

Willoughby also said officers determined the pickup truck was stolen and that the driver was wanted on a warrant out of Killeen charging aggravated robbery in an incident at a Killeen convenience store.

Representatives of PetSmart went to Itasca Thursday morning and retrieved the snakes.

Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said at about 6 p.m. Wednesday a man walked into the store at 4600 Franklin Avenue and asked to see some snakes.

A clerk at the store brought out four snakes, a python, two corn snakes and a Mexican king snake.

As the clerk took the snakes to the counter to check the man out, he placed them in a box and began to leave the store.

Swanton said the clerk confronted him about paying for the snakes and the man pulled out a knife and threatened to kill the clerk if she tried to stop him or follow him.

The snakes were valued at about $200.

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