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A Queens, N.Y., man has confessed to his role in stealing a rare tortoise, weeks after the reptile went missing from an environmental center on July 17.

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Shawn Waters, 36, faces grand larceny and other charges for the theft of Millennium, a 95-pound African tortoise who lived at Alley Pond Environmental Center in Bayside, Queens.

When Waters went to trade the 17-year-old turtle for a musk turtle in Connecticut, the man who exchanged the turtles with Waters smelled something fishy.


Having seen reports about the missing turtle, the man alerted authorities, who then apprehended the thief and returned Millennium to his home.

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Police don’t know yet if Waters, who has 26 prior arrests, stole the animal or was just involved in the swap.

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