Spider thief steals hibernating pet tarantulas from crawlspace of house

Photo by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -- Did you know that there are more than 800 species of tarantulas? Find out more about these fuzzy arachnids Saturday at Pet Care Warehouse.
photo Buma is a Mexican Red Rump tarantula.

AUSTELL, Ga. (AP) - A metro Atlanta man told police a spider thief snuck into a crawlspace under his home and stole five of his 18 pet tarantulas.

Austell police say they've issued an arrest warrant for a man accused of possessing the arachnids.

Dwayne Melton tells WSB-TV the spiders live beneath his Austell home in individual containers, where they hibernate during the winter until spring arrives.

Melton said he didn't know his spiders were missing until he got a phone call from Animart Pets in Austell, where employees said someone had just sold five tarantulas to the business. Melton then identified the spiders as his and police began investigating.

It wasn't immediately known when the theft happened, and details about the suspect weren't available.