MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — A 6-foot (2-meter) Burmese python slithered near a popular Miami Beach pedestrian mall, scaring the crowd outside a convenience store.

Customers leaving Exprezo noticed the snake beneath a royal palm tree on Wednesday. Someone called Miami Beach police and the python was captured.

Police Chief Daniel J. Oates tweeted “suspect apprehended!” along with photos of the capture.

Store owner Indika Wanigarathne tells the Miami Herald she was thinking, “How big can it be?” Then she saw the python and “freaked out.”

Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez says the snake will be turned over to a wildlife refuge.

Officer Traci Sierra, whom Rodriguez describes as an animal advocate, captured the snake.

The store owner had another word for Sierra: hero. “Trust me,” she said, “I wouldn’t grab that thing.”

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