After discovering a hole smashed through the ceiling, broken dishes, disheveled merchandise and a puddle of wet, vomit-like goo, shopkeepers reported a bizarre suspected break-in to authorities in Queensland, Australia.
Investigators initially believed an ailing burglar attempted to enter the St. Vincent de Paul charity store by cutting a hole in the ceiling, but lost balance, fell, stumbled and proceeded to vomit, reports the Cairns Post.
The intruder, however, stole nothing, and despite the hole in the ceiling, the roof remained undamaged, puzzling authorities.
The mystery came to a dramatic conclusion Wednesday morning when shopkeepers discovered a 19-foot, 37-pound python hiding beneath a rack of clothing. The large reptile refused to leave of its own freewill, prompting police to call trained snake handler Virginia McGrath to remove the unwanted guest.
“Its head was the size of a small dog,” said Police Sgt Don Auld in an interview with The Associated Press.
Authorities now believe the heavy snake broke the ceiling panels while slithering overhead, causing the python to fall through the cyclone-damaged ceiling. During his fall, the snake knocked over merchandise, creating the mess shopkeepers discovered.
What the police originally believe was a pile of vomit proved to be a puddle of feces and urine left by the big reptile.