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Posted by W von Papinešu on December 03, 2002 at 11:23:01:
LANCASHIRE EVENING TELEGRAPH (Blackburn, UK) 02 December 02 Shop shell-shocked as tortoises stolen
Police in Blackburn are appealing for help in tracing five exotic tortoises stolen from a pet shop.
Officers say the tropical animals will not survive without specialist care.
The incident happened at 5pm on Saturday at Aquamania pet store, Kent Street, Blackburn.
Police are keen to trace three three people seen acting suspiciously in the reptile section of the shop. They had been asking questions about various animals and equipment. Soon after an assistant noticed the doors to the vivariums had been smashed and the five tortoises gone.
Three Hermans tortoises, with dark brown shell and pale rings, worth £200 each, were taken with two Sulcattas, which have similar markings but a bit lighter. Hermans are an endangered species, and Sulcattas can grow to three feet in size.
Store owner Ashley Cook said: "They need specialist care, proper equipment, feeding, and vitamins."
Police say they would like to speak to the man and two women in the store at the time. The man was white, in his mid 30s, with short dark hair and a moustache. He was 5ft 6ins tall, and was wearing a black leather jacket.
One of the women was white, in her mid 30s, with bleached blonde curly shoulder-length hair. She was slim, and wore a light brown sheepskin jacket. The other woman was white, in her early 20s, with long bleached blonde straight hair tied back.
A reward has been offered for the safe return of the tortoises. Call Blackburn Police on 01254 512122.