Reward for safe return of Tommy tortoise

Do you know the whereabouts of penioner Valerie Morgan’s tortoise Tommy? He was stolen in September and she is offering a �200 reward ‘no questions asked’ for his safe return.

An Exmouth pensioner is appealing for the heartless thief who stole her beloved tortoise to hand him back – no questions asked.

Valerie Morgan, 74, suffered a double heartbreak this week when her second pet tortoise, Tilly, was stolen from her garden near Exeter Road.

While Tilly was returned on Tuesday afternoon – Mrs Morgan believes the thief’s conscience was pricked – Tommy tortoise has been missing for a month.

Mrs Morgan, who has owned tortoises her whole life, is offering a �200 reward for the safe return of Tommy – and she is prepared to turn a blind eye to the circumstances surrounding his theft.

She said: “I would be just grateful to get him back. I would be just so relieved.”

On Sunday, Mrs Morgan returned home from a meeting of the Devon Tortoise Group, in East Budleigh, to find Tilly – who she bought for 10 shillings some 40 years ago – had been stolen.

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Shortly after police carried out door-to-door enquiries, Tilly was returned to Mr and Mrs Morgan’s garden while they were out.

Mrs Morgan said: “I can’t believe it. It’s half a happy ending.”

Tommy, worth around �300, was stolen a month before, on October 23.

Mrs Morgan, and husband Trevor, 82, are concerned for their pet’s welfare. With hibernation looming, Tommy requires specialist care and knowledge.

Mrs Morgan said her pets were members of the family, adding: “I couldn’t sleep on Sunday night after Tilly was taken.

“I would rather the car was pinched.

“I have had tortoises all my life. This was the first time in 74 years I hadn’t got a tortoise.

“Tommy was bred by a friend. I got him as soon as he came out of his shell.

“I hope whoever has him is looking after him. I would rather he had been run over. Then I would know what had happened to him.

“I can’t bear to think of him suffering. It’s awful, not knowing what’s happened to him.”

Tommy tortoise is thought to be 40 years old and was taken from a secure garden with no means of escape.

He is described as having a distinctive bumpy shell, not smooth, and is so large two hands are needed to carry him.

If you have any information about Tommy’s whereabouts, contact the police on 101, quoting crime reference KE/11/2773.

? To claim the reward and return Tommy, with no questions asked, contact the Journal on (01392) 888507.