New York

Stolen Tortoise Was Traded, Then Turned in to Cops: NYPD

Police say that after Millennium was stolen, it was traded to someone for another tortoise

The 17-year-old tortoise stolen from a Queens environmental center last week has been turned in to police after it was exchanged in some sort of turtle trade, police say.

The nearly 100-pound tortoise named Millennium, stolen from the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Douglaston, was turned over at NYPD's 111th Precinct stationhouse Tuesday morning. 

Police say that after Millennium was stolen, it was traded to someone for another tortoise. The new owner then notified police.

It's not clear if the thief is in custody. 

The NYPD's 111th Precinct tweeted a photo of Millennium with detectives.

Alley Pond Environmental Center staffers went to the police station to identify the tortoise and pick it up. It appears to be in good condition, but still needs to be evaluated by the vet.

A staffer told News 4 over the phone they were happy that someone was willing to hand the tortoise over but the NYPD is still investigating and keeping them posted. 

Cops were called to Alley Pond last week after staffers discovered the reptile was gone and its enclosure had been broken.

Alley Pond is a nonprofit educational organization that advocates for sustainable environmental policies and practices. 

Kaleb Davis, a 6-year-old boy visiting the center last week, told News 4, "I don't know why they took the tortoise but it was very mean." 

Editor's note: The Associated Press reported in an earlier story that the tortoise was 100 years old. But the environmental center tells NBC 4 New York it is 17.

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