Fresno man charged for Discovery Center robbery

March 30, 2013 12:21:51 AM PDT
One python is still missing from the Discovery Center and 21-year-old Devin Madej is being held in the Fresno County Jail for burglary and stolen property charges.

Police say he stole several reptiles early Thursday morning from the museum. The Discovery Center's staff has cleaned up the mess of broken glass that was left in the reptile room. They're trying to figure out where to put a new enclosure that will house several reptiles.

The tanks were donated to the museum. The stolen reptiles are starting to settle back into their enclosures. They're not exactly sure where this will go but Discovery Center employees now have a new display enclosure for their reptiles. The unit is worth several thousand dollars.

Ian Goudelock, education coordinator said, "It's very well built and it looks very nice. It looks like it'll be a great place to have a new home for some animals."

Goudelock said he's relieved now that most of the stolen reptiles are back in his care.

"We're just really fortunate that they are in the condition they are. It's amazing," Goudelock said.

Amazing considering what you see in this surveillance video is several pythons, a boa constrictor and a large monitor lizard being stolen, dragged out of their safe habitats through the broken glass.

Discovery Center Director Mary Ellen Wright said, "It Rips your heart out. You know they're not going to take care of them right. They have no business taking them in the first place and to get them back and they're unhurt is more than I could ask for."

Police tracked down their suspect after some neighborhood kids identified the man in the surveillance video as Devin Madej.

Mike Palomino of the Fresno Police Department said, "There were just some great kids that really stepped up and helped us identify where we needed to go. It's nice to see kids take ownership of this property, what they have available to them and they care and they got involved."

One python is still missing and Fresno police and Discovery Center staff is asking you to call police if it is located.


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