Police are crawled in after theft of tortoise from shop

Kirsty Weller with the stolen tortoise's brother at Bretts Pets, Chorley
Kirsty Weller with the stolen tortoise's brother at Bretts Pets, Chorley

A pet store has been left shellshocked by the theft of a tortoise.

Police were called after the reptile raider struck at Bretts Pets, High Street, Chorley.

Brett Weller, joint owner of the business, said he feared for the wellbeing of the animal which needs special housing and a healthy diet.

He said: “If the temperature drops under four degrees it drops into hibernation.

“They have to fast for at least two weeks before they go into hibernation.

“If they go into hibernation before they are fasted, they can get brain damage.

“Our main concern is about the health of the animal.

“We’re not concerned about the money.”

The tortoise – a Horsefield, which range from about 15 to 25cms in size – is worth £110.

Horsefields should be fed grasses, leafy greens, vegetation and flowers of non-poisonous plants and weeds.

They require a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy.

They live for about 75 years.

Brett, who said security at the shop will now be stepped up, believes he knows who took it and has given the information to the police.

“I was in the shop cleaning a rat’s cage,” he said.

“This lady came in with two guys and distracted me and started asking me questions. It was an absolutely dire day and nobody else came in after them, so they were the last people in the shop.”

He added; “We got it from a private breeder.

“We get all our stock from private breeders because we don’t support animal farms.”

The theft took place at around lunchtime last Tuesday.

The store says it has been overwhelmed by more than 4,000 views about the stolen tortoise on its

Facebook page.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We’ve spoken to possible suspects but there are no further lines of inquiry at this stage. If anyone witnessed the incident or has any information they can ring us on 101.”