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Posted by Wes von Papinešu on June 19, 2002 at 20:30:07:
HERALD EXPRESS (Torquay, UK) 13 June 02 Thieves Snatch £500 Tortoise (Paul James)
Young Gurrik Thomas from Torquay is distraught after thieves snatched his treasured tortoise.
Peanut, who his owners say is worth £500, was stolen from his garden in Grosvenor Avenue.
It comes as another Torquay family claimed their Golden Retriever, Max, had been dog-napped.
Gurrik, 10, said: "I've put up posters and asked neighbours if they have seen him. We think somebody must have stolen him.
"We put up boards and fences so he couldn't get out.
"He can't get out of the house. Our rockery is too high for him to get up.
"We've had him four years and he's never been up there, so he must have been taken."
Peanut is a rare leopard or mountain tortoise. He is nine inches long and seven years old.
Gurrik's dad Arjun said: "Gurrik is devastated. Peanut is expected to live to be 130 and he was going to outlive us all." The family's hopes were raised when an SOS around the neighbourhood provoked a positive sighting from a nearby resident.
"I rushed down and found this tortoise which had been seen crossing the road, but it wasn't ours. This one had escaped from a nearby garden and was returned safely," Arjun said. He did not believe Peanut may have legged it in search of amorous adventures. "The garden is tortoise-proof," he explained.
Tortoises living in Britain have become worth hundreds of pounds since regulations were introduced several years ago banning the import of any new ones.
Anyone with any information should contact police.
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