Bend teens arrested in Reptile Zone burglary, animals returned; owner grateful but angry, frustrated

(Update: Incorporating movie, opinions by company operator)

Jeff Jensen hurt by steps of consumers turned good friends: ‘You fellas stabbed me in the back’

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – With the assistance of the neighborhood, a 17-yr-aged Bend resident and his 18-year-old girlfriend have been arrested in past month’s theft of The Reptile Zone in northeast Bend and the stolen animals have been recovered, law enforcement mentioned Wednesday.

Security video clip on Nov. 28 confirmed two persons donning masks had eliminated an air conditioning unit from a window at The Reptile Zone in the 500 block of NE Greenwood Avenue and entered the small business right away, police Communications Manager Sheila Miller mentioned.

They stole a few snakes, two frogs, a turtle, the business’s suggestion jar and other merchandize, which includes cages. Miller reported an estimate of the stolen and ruined residence topped $3,000.

“Community help and an investigation led Bend Police to recognize a 17-12 months-aged Bend resident as a suspect in the theft,” Miller stated in a news launch.

Officers on Tuesday contacted the teen at his household in the 1200 block of Northwest Lexington Avenue, Miller mentioned.

“The 17-12 months-previous admitted that he and his girlfriend … 18, had burglarized the small business and stolen the animals,” she extra.

The scenario was broken when a spouse and children member of the suspect saw a Facebook put up and recognized the stolen turtle.

Each teenagers are are charged with to start with-diploma theft and next-diploma burglary, Miller mentioned. The 18-calendar year-previous was taken to the Deschutes County Jail and the male was booked into the county’s Juvenile Detention Center.

The stolen reptiles and merchandize were being discovered in the couple’s property and were being recovered and released to the company owner.

Reptile Zone operator Jeff Jensen said he’s grateful for all the group support and the return of his animals and merchandise, but voiced irritation and anger that two of his consumers would do these types of a factor.

Considering the fact that the theft, he reported, “People would just arrive in and give me hugs randomly. A girl states, ‘I genuinely never like reptiles at all. I saw you on the news. I just had to occur in and tell you that I am praying for you and rooting for you,’ And she still left. But it is been that variety of support that has gotten me by way of this, my spouse and I.”

Supporters also set up two fundraising accounts for the store and a female stopped by to presented Jenson an envelope with $1,000 in it.

That close marriage with his customers is what produced the theft come to feel like a betrayal for Jensen, who mentioned he had place on a reptile demonstrate for the suspect’s 10th birthday occasion.

“I was hurt, simply because they ended up shoppers of mine,” he said. “They’d been shoppers for a small whilst. And I told them — like a ton of suppliers, I have claimed this right before: My consumers start out as purchasing, getting shoppers, and they stop up as buddies. And you fellas stabbed me in the back. And it hurts. And the complete time that I was indicating that, the father of the youthful girl who was standing next to her, furious – his experience was pink. As soon as I was performed speaking, he just allow free on him.”

Jensen mentioned some of the recovered reptiles have been not in great problem, so he is acquiring them recuperate out of the community eye, before they return to the store shows. The stolen cases also ended up damaged, he mentioned.

But over all, Jensen mentioned he would like to thank the hundreds of men and women who shared his story and served obtain his reptiles.