A woman is charged with shoplifting after she allegedly stole four snakes from a Roswell pet store.
Kapri Wixon, 32, of Roswell, faces one count of shoplifting over $500, but not more than $2,000 after she allegedly stole the baby pythons Oct. 28 from Wildlife Safari Animal Emporium Inc. on Union Avenue, according to an incident report filed with the Roswell Police Department.
Wixon was arrested Wednesday on the shoplifting charge. Following a first appearance in Chaves County Magistrate Court Thursday, bond was set for Wixon at $5,000 cash or surety. However, a jail population summary report released Monday still listed her as an inmate at the Chaves County Detention Center.
According to an affidavit filed in Magistrate Court, David Sexton, owner of Wildlife Safari, said he saw Wixon — on the surveillance camera footage — come into the store at 2 p.m. Oct. 28, and take four baby hatchling ball snakes that were for sale in a bin at the front of the store, stuff the snakes into a duffle bag and then walk out the front door.
The incident report states the four snakes have a combined value of $650. Sexton, in an affidavit filed in Magistrate Court, said that he recognized Wixon because she used to frequent the store, and a year and a half ago, had stolen a snake from him.
Sexton said in an interview Friday that right before Wixon allegedly stole the snakes from him Oct. 28, a blonde woman came into the store. He then went to the back of the store to help the customer when her phone rang.
No other employees were working that day, so the front of the store was not monitored while he was in the back, Sexton said.
While the woman was talking on the phone, Sexton said he was still in the back of the store when he heard the front door ring, signifying that someone entered the store. A few seconds later, he heard the door close.
“I came up front and I looked around and I couldn’t find another customer,” Sexton said.
The woman who had called Sexton to the back of the store then walked out, still talking on her cellphone, and got into an older model truck before driving away.
Sexton said he didn’t realize until the next day that the snakes had been stolen. He then reviewed surveillance camera footage and called the police.
Sexton filed a police report and obtained Wixon’s address.
When police went to Wixon’s address to execute a search warrant, she had one of the snakes with her. Initially, she had told police that someone else had one of the other snakes and the two others had died, Sexton said.
However, Wixon later allegedly admitted to police two of the three snakes were actually in her possession and Sexton said he was able to get them back. He added that the fourth snake is still missing.
Sexton said he has had a store in Roswell for six years, and other than Wixon, has never had a problem with shoplifters.
He said that in the wake of the latest incident, he is looking to get more secure storage bins to hold the snakes and install a new surveillance system.
Sexton said that he will also press charges against Wixon in order to deter future shoplifters.
“I don’t want to become an easy target. I want to make sure that every person who ever shoplifts from my store ends up getting the worst thing they can have happen and so they can tell all their low-life friends, ‘Don’t go there and steal because that is not the place you want to go, ‘cause he nailed me to the wall,’” Sexton said.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.