Police: Stolen tortoise returned to pet store

Posted at 7:59 AM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 07:59:01-05

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - A rare tortoise has been returned to a Clearwater pet store, more than a month after police say surveillance footage showed a Largo woman stealing the palm-sized animal.

Clearwater police said in a news release that 41-year-old Nicole Perry was arrested Wednesday and faces a charge of retail theft.

Police say Perry put the Sulcata tortoise, valued at $300, into her purse on Dec. 23 and walked out of the store.

Authorities say a tip led them to Perry's home, where they found the tortoise. The animal was returned to the store later that day.

It is unclear whether Perry has an attorney.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)