A crab called Houdini caused havoc when it executed a dramatic escape – in a LOCKSMITHS shop.
The determined pet, which measures just four inches wide, managed to lift the hinged lid off his fish tank and jump off a work unit.
The crab then crawled out of the room, down a flight of 18 stairs and shuffled on to the shop floor.
“Four of us locksmiths were in the shop with one customer when suddenly this crab appeared,” said Nick Williams, managing director of Brinnick Locksmiths and Security Ltd in Newport Pagnell High Street.
“The customer couldn’t believe her eyes. She thought it was a plastic crab at first.
“We had a hard job convincing her it was real and had escaped from a room upstairs.
“In the end she left, saying “I’m getting out of this madhouse””
The locksmiths themselves are amazed at the crab’s escapology skills.
“We supply real heavy duty stuff here, including the highest security locks you can get to the Ministry of Defence,” said Nick.
“It’s just ironic that we can’t stop a small crab from climbing out of his tank.”
But Nick and his team have this week stopped Houdini in its tracks by installing a heavy duty door closing mechanism on the lid of the tank.
A panther crab originating from the seas of Indonesia, Houdini lives in a tropical tank with fish for company.
The crabs need to be kept at a constant warm temparature and do not survive out of water for long.
“He was a little the worse for wear after his escape. He was dried out and didn’t look too good,” said Nick.
“But we picked him up, put him back in the tank and fed him extra treats for a couple of days. Now he’s on good form again and raring to go!”