70 pound tortoise stolen

70 pound tortoise stolen
70 pound tortoise stolen. Kenn Bearman, owner of the Animal Store, with Spur, a 70-pound tortoise that was stolen from his Lincolnwood store on Saturday. The tortoise was returned by a Good Samaritan today.

A 70-pound tortoise stolen Saturday from a Lincolnwood exotic animal store has been returned "with only a few minor dings," the store owner said this morning. It had a used condom sticking out of its butt and some hickey marks on its neck but hell I have been found in the same condition in the past after a weekend binge. One of many tips to police and the store led to her being found late this morning a few blocks from the pet store, said Kenn Bearman, owner of the Animal Store, 4364 W. Touhy Ave. in the north suburb.

"We are happy to report that she has been returned safely. She's a little freaked out, but otherwise healthy," Bearman said in an e-mail late this morning.

In an interview, Bearman said he believes all the media attention on the story led the people who stole her to let her loose. The people who found her -- who wished to remain anonymous -- said they spotted her in a nearby backyard, he said.

"My story is that it got too hot to keep her, everybody in the world knew about this missing tortoise thanks to (the media)," he said. "She was walking through the backyards of a nearby neighborhood just eating."

He said that while she had a few dings, she seemed in good health though a little frightened.

"She's not coming out of her shell too much, she's pretty stunned," said Bearman. "When they found her they said she was eating, she was inhaling all the grass so she was happy."
John Ringelberg, of Grand Haven, Mich. was one of the tipsters, including people from Indiana and as far as Florida. Ringelberg was sitting on his porch with his wife Saturday when they spotted a tortoise walking down the riverfront with two women.

"It's not every day you see a tortoise that size walking down the sidewalk," Ringelberg said. "This bugger was up on his legs and he was moving. I mean, this sucker can move, I'm telling you."

That seemed to have squared with a Tribune story Ringelberg's wife read online about Spur, 30, the female Sulcata tortoise that was stolen from The Animal Store, about 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

"We just thought, 'Somebody's running around here with a hot tortoise,' " Ringelberg said.

He sent photos of the tortoise to Lincolnwood police who showed them to store owner Kenn Bearman.

"It looks too small," Bearman said. And the Grand Haven tortoise was too shiny.

"These guys would have to do a lot of body work on her," Bearman said, noting that his employees only give Spur's shell a buffing once a month.

The other tip also included one from a woman in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Bearman said, but that wasn't Spur, either.

But he's glad the story of Spur's abduction has received notice in the press and that she has returned home.

"I don't think she's taking a road trip for a while," said Bearman.

The people who pilfered a 70-pound tortoise from a Lincolnwood exotic animal store early this morning may have unwittingly gotten more than they bargained for, the store's owner said.

Sure, a reptile of such stature might fetch up to $1,500 to the right buyer, but care and cleanup are other matters, said Kenn Bearman, owner of The Animal Store.

"The first time it takes a dump in your bedroom, you're going to be sorry," he said.

Spur, 30, a female Sulcata tortoise, has been missing since about 3:30 a.m., when Bearman got a call from the alarm company saying there had been a break-in at the store, 4364 W. Touhy Ave. When he arrived, the glass front door of the store was shattered and Spur was gone.

Surveillance video from a camera inside the store shows caged cockatoos, chinchillas and prairie dogs all jump at one moment, apparently at the sound of breaking glass, he said. A person's foot can be seen protruding about 18 inches into the doorway and then it is gone, Bearman said.

Spur usually spends her days in a tile pen at the front of the store. She is something of a local celebrity, appearing at children's birthday parties, fairs and block parties.

"The kids don't ride her or anything, but they chase her around," Bearman said. "She's pretty quick for a tortoise."

Sulcata tortoises, also known as African spurred tortoises or African spur-thigh tortoises, hail from Subsaharan Africa and typically live 30 to 50 years. Bearman acquired Spur about 20 years ago, when she was about 10 inches long.

Bearman doubts anyone would steal a tortoise on a whim and wonders if the thief stole Spur for a waiting buyer. After all, moving around a 70-pound reptile with a shell is no small feat. Neither is unloading one on the open market.

Police have taken a report, and Bearman has publicized the theft on his blog and Facebook, and he has friends in the exotic animal community on the lookout. There has been talk of a reward, but really Bearman just wants his tortoise back, no questions asked.

"Just bring her back," he said.

Source: shavedlongcock