Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

February 14, 2013

Leapin' lizards! Illegal alligator seized while police search for stolen TV

By Krystal Fowler - Lifestyle editor
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — While executing a search warrant for stolen property at 311 S. 15th St. in Centerville Wednesday morning the Centerville Police Department found something they did not expect.

An alligator.

According to Centerville Police Chief Tom Demry the animal was discovered around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the home of Jerry Lee Horn when police executed a search warrant looking for a television stolen from Wal-Mart Feb. 3. The television, which was reported stolen Feb. 7, was recovered at the residence.

Demry said no one was home at the time of the search and charges are pending against two individuals.

Animal control officer Tom Beck was called to take the animal into custody. It is prohibited to own such an animal in Centerville. The owner now has the option to sign custody over to the city or make arrangements to remove the animal from town his/herself.

The alligator is currently housed in a city-owned building near the Appanoose County Fairgrounds.

It is about two feet long and is estimated to be about one year old. Beck said they had been searching for an alligator in town for about a year. If the owner gives up possession Beck said they will search for a suitable home for it.