It had all the makings of a great detective story: a daring robbery, a kidnapping and a manhunt for a local celebrity - but the twist in this case is that the victim was a 100 pound reptile.
Millennium the tortoise is the main attraction at the Alley Pond Conservation Center in Queens, NY. Staff guess that more than 50,000 school children visit him each year, and locals even hire him out for their children's parties.
So when he was stolen last week the community was shell-shocked. At least 2 thieves, working either at night or in broad daylight last Monday, cut a whole in the fence to Millennium's enclosure and carried the 17-year-old African spurred tortoise out.
Police know it took a team of men to move the scaly celebrity, since he's 2 feet long and weighs as much as a mini-fridge. But after loading Millenium into a nearby truck the crooks disappeared without a trace, leaving Millennium's friend Mini Me behind in the enclosure.
Police expected Millenium might be sold on the black market, and raced to find him before it was too late. But the criminals had something even stranger planned for Millenium.
Find out how police tracked down Millennium on the next page!