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Truck full of snakes, other reptiles, stolen from Colorado Walmart, police say

"Stumpy," a 50 lb. tortoise with a wheel in place of his front left leg, is one of approximately 15 other exotic animals recovered from a stolen truck belonging to "Wildman Phil" Rakoci in southwest Denver Personal photo

(CBS) ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Police safely recovered a truck containing over a dozen exotic animals that had been stolen from a Walmart parking Wednesday in Denver, CBS Denver reports.

The truck's owner, "Wild Phil" Rakoci, said he travels to schools and parties giving presentations with his truck full of reptiles. The truck was stolen while it was parked in a Walmart parking lot.

Rakoci said one of the animals taken was Stumpy, a 50-pound African spurred tortoise with a wheel in place of his front left leg. Stumpy was stolen along with about 15 other animals including a python, a rattlesnake and scorpions.

Firefighters noticed the unoccupied vehicle with its engine still running on Wednesday in Englewood. Police arrived to find the animals unharmed.

"Apparently the person, the people still had heart." Rakoci said. "They left the heater on so the animals could stay warm."

Rakoci was reunited with his animals Thursday morning. Police are still looking for the thief. They do not have a suspect description.

  • Crimesider Staff

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