Texas tortoise held for ransom leads to arrest of man wanted for sexual assault

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Gracie-the-tortoise-JPG

A Houston area woman’s missing tortoise led to the arrest of a man wanted for aggravated sexual assault against a child on Tuesday.

KPRC Houston reported that Stacey Swayze-Krampota was moving from Rosharon to Manvel a few weeks ago when her 5-year old African spurred tortoise, Gracie, escaped.

Swayze-Krampota began posting flyers asking for information about her missing pet,  and eventually received a phone call from a man demanding a $1,000 ransom for Gracie’s return. She also received several calls from people claiming that they had seen the tortoise in the home of 34-year-old Joseph Urbino, according to KPRC.

Swayze-Krampota confronted Urbino at his home, and KPRC reported that authorities soon arrived on the scene.  Sherriff’s deputies ran Urbino’s license plate, and they discovered that he had a pair of outstanding warrants for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Urbino, now facing additional theft charges, was arrested, according to KPRC, and Gracie…

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