Thief Arrested After Trying To Ransom Stolen Lemur
James Edward Welborn Jr. probably didn’t have primate theft on his mind when he broke into Julie Harris’s home in Mobile, Alabama.
But there was Gizmo, a two-year old lemur, and WelbornÂ allegedlyÂ snagged it along with Harris’s TV.
The problem with stealing an exotic animal is that it is much more difficult to pawn off than electronic equipment. So Welborn gave Gizmo to his sister to look after, under the guise that it had belonged to a friend who had been deployed toÂ Afghanistan.
When Harris started to post signs offering a reward for her missing pets, Welborn came up with a plan to ransom the lemur. With the help of his accompliceÂ Brian Sanders, Welborn arranged a meeting with Harris.
“Itâs kind of like a bad Disney movie,â George County Sheriffâs Detective Ben Brown saidÂ of the pair’s attempt to extort Harris, who had contacted the authorities. Sanders was arrested in January during the drop and the lemur was returned to its rightful owner, unharmed. But WelbornÂ eludedÂ capture.
That was until last week, when Welborn was pulled over on a routine traffic stop. He now faces charges forÂ possessionÂ of stolen property
Having finally got their man, theÂ George County Sheriff department had a message for all those who would engage in ape-napping.
âWe donât put up with any monkey business in George County,â Sheriff Dean Howell bragged.