Shell-shocked Toby the tortoise reunited with owner after theft

Toby returns home
Toby returns home

A pet tortoise which was stolen during a Luton burglary has been reunited with its owner.

On Thursday, Bedfordshire Police appealed for the public’s help to trace 11-year-old tortoise Toby after his owner’s property in Harcourt Street was broken into.

Toby tortoise

Toby tortoise

Since the appeal, members of the public have assisted in bringing shell-shocked Toby back home after he was sold in a cardboard box in a pub for just £20. The two men who bought him were concerned for his welfare and so paid the money and brought him to the vet.

Whilst at the vet, a dog-owner named Ginny spotted Toby and offered to take him home, not knowing he had been stolen until speaking to a friend who recognised him from the Facebook appeal.

Ginny was thrilled to see the appeal did indeed relate to the tortoise she had temporarily fostered and immediately contacted PC Steven Ryan, who brought Toby’s owner Mr Berry to Ginny’s house to reunite the pair.

Mr Berry would like to say a big thank you to Ginny, Bedfordshire Police, the two men who took him to the vets, and all the public who offered support on Facebook, adding that it truly helped him get through a difficult time.

PC Ryan said: “We’re thrilled that Toby has been reunited with his family after what must have been a real ordeal for him – we’re pleased to report that he’s now coming back out of his shell!

“That said, those responsible for the break-in remain outstanding and we’re committed to fully investigating this heartless burglary, to prevent further offending and distress to others. We’re keen to trace the two Good Samaritans who took Toby to the vets, as they may be able help with further information about the person who sold him. Additionally we’d urge anyone with information about the incident to come forward.”

The burglary at Harcourt Street took place between 4pm on Sunday (March 5) and 9.30am the following morning. A number of items of jewellery, laptops and iPad tablets were also taken.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC Ryan on 101 using the crime reference C/9545/2017. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.