Herald American Local News

Owner of pet store returns stolen iguana

PARAMOUNT — “Godzilla,” an iguana snatched from a fenced-in area in front of a local pet store Feb. 2, was returned to her owner two days later, but the search for the thief is continuing.

The 3-foot reptile was taken from Paramount Pet Entertainment at 8055 Rosecrans Ave. shortly after noon.

Surveillance video showed that the iguana was taken from the fenced, vegetated area in front of the store, where Godzilla was sometimes allowed to roam, by a man in a baggy T-shirt driving a new gray Dodge Charger.

“What happened is whoever stole the iguana sold it to another pet store,” said Lt. Eric Lindblom of the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station.

When the proprietors of a Huntington Park pet store saw a news report about Godzilla, they realized they had purchased a stolen iguana for $200 and contacted owner Holly Cepeda.

Godzilla “is back home now,” the lieutenant said. “We’re actively pursuing the leads” to find the thief.

Cepeda, who said Godzilla is tame and loved by customers, gave the other pet store operator $200 for returning the 7-year-old lizard, according to a broadcast report.