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Stolen holdall contained five pet snakes

A thief stole a holdall from a man buying vegetables at a market stall - unaware that it contained four pythons and a boa constrictor.

Steve Barnes, a British Gas engineer, had left the valuable pet snakes with a friend while he refurbished their tanks at his home in Bracknell, Berkshire. The friend was returning them when the bag was stolen.

The snakes, all only partly grown, were about two feet long. One of the pythons was a rare breed from Burma.