When most people think of theft, they think of shoplifting clothes or jewelry, or perhaps robbery, burglary, assault, or fraud. When animals are stolen, chances are they are a high-priced dog from a pet store or breeder. But a lemur?
Julie Harris, the owner of Gizmo the lemur, was burglarized by James Edward Welborn, Jr. In addition to Gizmo, Welborn also took her TV. Gizmo the lemur, a small mammal, was valued at approximately $1,500. According to Detective Ben Brown, the whole event was “kind of like a bad Disney movie.”
After Welborn, the alleged thief, burglarized Harris’ home, he took the little guy to his sister’s house, telling her he found it. After seeing a local news report about the theft of Gizmo, she started doubting her brother’s story, especially since the picture of Gizmo matched the lemur she was taking care of. After telling her brother about the cash bounty on the head of the little fellow, she told him to come take him away.
The lemur theft got more complicated when Welborn and his friend Brian Sanders decided to ransom Gizmo for the reward money. Sanders contacted Harris and arranged to meet in a gas station. When she got there, Gizmo wasn’t with them, but his picture was on his computer. Sanders confessed everything to the police, who then was able to figure things out and got Gizmo and his owner, Harris, back together.
Welborn was able to elude police officers for a bit, but his luck ran out when he was stopped for a traffic violation. When his identity was processed through the local information system, the police connected him to the burglary and theft of the TV and little Gizmo the lemur.
Detective Brown wrapped up the unusual case by telling reporters, “[T]o take the monkey to his sister, cross state lines and get somebody else to contact the family…and try to get the reward money … this is hands down the oddest, funniest case I have ever worked.”
Unlike the theft of Gizmo the lemur, theft cases aren’t this amusing.
If you have been allegedly accused of theft, you must realize this is a serious charge with far-reaching consequences. You need to contact a criminal defense attorney experienced in theft cases who can build a good defense for you such as Sevens Legal, APC. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.