Suspicious man caught red, white and black handed

Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- A man carrying four snakes, a sword, two cell phones and a purse hailed a cab after a home burglary, police said.

The driver became suspicious and alerted police after the man paid his fare from the purse, said St. Petersburg police spokesperson George Kajtsa.

''Never mind that he had an aquarium with snakes and a 4-foot sword,'' Kajtsa said.

Daniel Beckley, 24, of St. Petersburg, was charged last Wednesday with armed residential burglary.

Police said he robbed his former roommates -- taking $200, the purse, phones, the decorative sword and four Sinaloan milk snakes.

The stolen items were returned Wednesday, minus the cab fare, police said.

The nonpoisonous red, white and black snakes are happy to be home, said owner Ryan C. George.

''They're slithering in joy,'' he said.

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