By Gina Martinez
An East Elmhurst man has been arrested and charged for the theft of Alley Pond’s prized tortoise, Millennium, police said.
According to police, 36 year-old Shawn Waters was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, police said. Waters has 26 previous arrests, according to authorities.
Police said that sometime around 4 p.m. Sunday, July 16, and the next morning, Millennium — a 17-year-old African Spurred tortoise, that weights 95 pounds and is 2.5 feet long — was taken from his enclosure at the Alley Pond Environmental Center. An employee went in to check on the tortoise and found he was gone.
According to police, Millennium was found in Connecticut July 24th after the person who carried him off traded tortoises. Police said the new owner contacted police when he suspected the tortoise might have been stolen.
Irene Scheid, APEC’s executive director, said everyone at the center is grateful for the police hard work.
“Were pleased with the work the police did in retrieving Millennium and we’re glad he’s back where he belongs,” she said. “We feel safer knowing the person who did this is in custody. Millennium is doing just fine, he was checked out by a veterinarian and was great.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart