Redlands police checked out a vehicle description, recovered two stolen poodle puppies worth $2,400, and unexpectedly found a two-foot boa constrictor in the car's center console, a city spokesman said Thursday.
Recovery of the poodle puppies happened Wednesday night, Redlands spokesman Carl Baker said.
"The owner of the puppies told police the suspect came to his home in the 1100 block of Oxford Street to buy the dogs," Baker said in a statement.
The suspect was holding the puppies when he fled out the front door and drove away, Baker said.
A patrol officer was on his way to the call on Oxford Street when he spotted the suspect's vehicle, a white 4-door Chrysler, Baker said. The officer stopped the car near Redlands Boulevard and Citrus Avenue, and both poodle puppies were in the car.
Police unexpectedly discovered the boa constrictor in the Chrysler's center console and called out Redlands Animal Control, Baker said. Police had not determined who the snake belongs to.
The 25-year-old suspect was being treated for an unrelated, undisclosed medical condition, Baker said. Charges had not been filed against the man as of Thursday afternoon.
Boas are nonpoisonous constrictors native to tropical Central and South America, according to nationalgeographic.com. They are about 2 feet long when they are born, and they grow continually during their 25-year to 30-year lifespan.
The largest boa constrictor ever found measured 18 feet, but boas are smaller than their anaconda cousins. The green anaconda, considered the largest snake in the world, can grow to 29 feet long and weigh up to 550 pounds.
Anyone with more info about the poodle puppies or the boa constrictor was urged to call Redlands Police Dispatch at (909) 798-7681. Anonymous tipsters can text 274637 and use the keyword REDTIP.