The Morehead News

Local News

December 18, 2009

Lizard larceny: Men attempt to pawn reptile for alcohol

A Hillsboro man and his son are in jail after police say they stole a lizard and tried to pawn it for liquor.

David Martt, 44, of Hillsboro and his son Harley D. Martt, 18, of Morehead are charged with theft by unlawful taking under $500 after they allegedly stole a bearded dragon from the display aquarium of Eagles Landing Pet Hospital on First Street Wednesday afternoon, according to police. The incident was caught of video surveillance.

“Two gentlemen came into the clinic; one was claiming to make an appointment for a puppy and the other was wandering around touching everything,” Eagle’s Landing veterinarian assistant Ashley Cains said. “When one of our volunteers went to feed the lizard they discovered it missing.”

Police say they began the investigation and the search for the lizard at approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday after they were tipped off when the pair unsuccessfully tried to pawn the reptile worth $350 at JB’s Gun and Pawn. After the failed attempt of selling the dragon they went on foot to attempt to trade it for liquor at Freight Station and First Street Liquors, according to police.

Police apprehended the two alleged thieves with the lizard at 3:40 p.m. as they were seen entering apartments on Bridge Street.

The 18-inch bearded dragon nicknamed “Big” is making a recovery, according to vet officials.

“He’s doing good so far and recovering slowly,” Cains said. “He has severe hypothermia and because he’s from the desert he got sick very quickly.”

MPD officer Mike Curtis was in charge of the investigation.

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