Sunday, January 5, 2003 Posted: 8:35 PM EST (0135 GMT)
SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- An Australian thief got more than he bargained for when he grabbed a bag off a car's passenger seat and found a venomous, red-bellied black snake inside.
A police spokeswoman said the thief stole the canvas bag after yanking open the door of a four-wheel drive at traffic lights in the Sydney inner-city suburb of Redfern late on Saturday.
But the car's driver, snake handler Bradley McDonald, had the last laugh. The bag contained a 1.2 metre (four feet) long snake that he had just snared in a nearby car park.
"It might teach him a lesson. The snake is the innocent party in this," McDonald told reporters.
A bite from a red-bellied black snake, which can grow to up to 2.5 metres long, is very painful and could kill a small child.