Burglar wreaks havoc on victim's reptiles at El Cajon home

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-17 21:23:46-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - A reptile lover is hoping to track down the ‘heartless’ burglar who stole one animal and killed another.

Emery Aranda, a pet owner and breeder, returned to his El Cajon home Wednesday to a devastating sight:  An unlocked back window forced open and a white powder tossed around his bedroom.

That powder, which may include ant poison he had in the house, was also tossed into Aranda's turtle tank. He saw his red-bellied turtles trying to swim to the surface, one of them dead. A few feet away, a cage was closed and his red monitor lizard missing.

While other items were taken from the home, Aranda has little doubt.

Aranda says the lizard was the most valuable animal in his collection, and that’s why he believes the intruder knew about his animals and targeted them.