CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Diana Wheeler stared in disbelief at her empty terrarium Friday afternoon.
“My pets are all I have,” Wheeler explained. “I bond with them. They`re like my babies."
But she said a thief stole one of her babies recently.
Early Wednesday morning she said someone cut their way through the screen door of her Chesapeake home.
She said the person snatched her beloved pet snake Sammy from her porch.
“It`s gonna worry me to death. I`ve been crying every since it happened and I`ve had maybe four hours of sleep since it happened,” Wheeler said.
She suffers from several medical conditions and is homebound.
Wheeler told News 3 he 5-foot-long boa constrictor helped ease her pain.
'I would walk around with him around my shoulders and he would wrap around my neck and bring his head up and lay it on top of my head. There was sometimes he would give me kissing on the check,” Wheeler described with a smile.
Local pet experts say regular boa constrictors cost between $100 -$200.
They say more exotic one could cost about $1,000.
Staff at Simply Pets say unfortunately wheeler`s situation is common.
We`ve had a few over the years stolen from the store,” Simply Pets Owner Jeff Severts said. “We`ve had to prosecute two people in the last five years. Occasionally, we do get pet owners calling us in similar circumstances.'
One of those callers was wheeler.
“If I could get him back, that would be all the Christmases for the rest of my life,” said Wheeler.
Along with her heartbreak, Wheeler says she now feels unsafe in her home.
Police are investigating the incident.