Slow-moving tortoise case dismissed in Vt.
NEWPORT — It took a while, but the case of 100-pound stolen tortoise has finally been dismissed in Vermont.
In 2010, Zachary Barbeau of Irasburg was charged with possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor, accusing him of taking the 2-foot-long African spur-thighed tortoise from its owner in Albany.
Barbeau, then-20, had worked on the tortoise owner’s property but denied stealing it. He told police that he didn’t feel that Peter Lowry had cared for the reptile properly.
Barbeau was accused of bringing the tortoise to a friend, who turned it into police, the Caledonia Record reported.
The tortoise was returned to Lowry unharmed. Barbeau was to complete a local community justice program, but for some reason he didn’t complete it.
On Nov. 6 a judge dismissed the case.
“Unfortunately, given the lack of resources committed to the Vermont Judiciary, we do not have the luxury of entertaining minor cases indefinitely,” Judge Howard VanBenthuysen wrote.