Monitor Lizards Stolen in 2019 Recovered By California Police Department

Two Australian lace monitors (Varanus varius), were reunited with their owner.
Australia Lace Monitor
Australia lace monitor recovered by the Long Beach Police Department. Photo by Long Beach Police Department/Facebook

A pair of monitor lizards that were stolen in a 2019 robbery in the city of Long Beach, CA, have been recovered by detectives with the Long Beach Police Department. The lizards, Australian lace monitors (Varanus varius), were reunited with their owner. The alleged robbers were arrested on suspicion of second degree robbery and have been released on $50,000 bail.

The reptiles were stolen from JTK Reptiles during a daylight robbery in 2019. Three people robbed the store and made off with the monitor lizards, that were valued at around $7,500. Nobody was hurt in the robbery, according to the Long Beach Post.

The store’s owner, Bryan Cho, told the Post that the reptiles were not for sale but were part of the store’s captive breeding program. The reptiles were expensive and difficult to obtain permits to possess, according to Cho.

Lace monitors are also called lace goannas in Australia. They can grow to over six feet in length and can weigh more than 25 lbs. They are both territorial and arboreal and can be found in eastern Australia, from Cape Bedford on Cape York Peninsula to south-eastern South Australia.

Categories: Lizard Information & News