THE owner of a pet tortoise worth around £1,000, which was stolen in a Whitchurch burglary along with a BMW and a Blackberry mobile, is hoping her cherished pet will be returned.
Sheila Hatton had left her house in Edward German Drive for under half an hour when it was raided on Thursday afternoon between 4.30-5pm.
The nine-and-a-half year old tortoise, called Jessy, was taken along with the Blackberry and the BMW 745i, registration E3SHE, worth around £10,000.
Mrs Hatton, who has had Jessy for six years, said: “It has been very upsetting, and I would dearly love to get Jessy back.
“She needs looking after, she spends a lot of time under an infra-red lamp in a heated reptile cabinet. The lamp is on for eight hours a day, and I am worried that she will go into hibernation if she gets cold - she should not be allowed to go to sleep for too long.
“She is too young to hibernate - tortoises should be at least 10 or 11 before they hibernate.
“If she is in a warm house she will be fine, but she won’t survive in the cold.”
Jessy is used to a special diet of dandelion food, but will eat lettuce, apples and cucumber.
She rubs her neck on her shell, and there are some scales missing from the back of her neck which would help identify her.
Thieves forced the front door to get inside the house, and made an untidy search of the premises.
A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: "We are appealing to people who were in the area of Edward German Drive late that afternoon to contact us if they saw anything suspicious.
"In particular, we want to hear from anyone who saw a black BMW being driven off. The number to contact is Whitchurch police station on the 101 non-emergency number".
Information can also be given to the anonymous independent Crimestoppers charity by calling 0800 555 111.