A REWARD is being offered for the safe return of a tortoise stolen from a Sheffield pet shop while its owners were on holiday.
Three-year-old Georgia the tortoise had been left at the Lizard Lounge on Holme Lane, Malin Bridge, while her owners were on a family break in Corfu.
But when Patrick and Samantha Akaster returned from their two-week break they discovered their beloved pet had been snatched from the shop.
Georgia had been left with her mate Terrence in a tank at the shop - and when pet shop owner Lester Cavanagh went to feed the pets midway through their stay he found one was missing.
He told police that, the day before, three youths had come into his shop while he was serving a customer and went into the room where the tortoises were kept.
Two of them remained in the shop to buy mice but he claims one of the boys left ‘suddenly’ - and he suspects the trio were involved in he tortoise’s disappearance.
Because his shop is not fitted with CCTV, the only hope for Georgia’s owners is for members of the public to report anyone who suddenly acquires a new tortoise.
Patrick, aged 41, of Longley, said: “We are absolutely devastated - we have had Georgia since she was a baby and our eight-year-old daughter Samantha is heartbroken.
“Pets become part of your family so we hope whoever has her is looking after her, but we really want her back.”
Shop owner Mr Cavanagh added: “It’s the first time this has happened in five years - I am gutted.”
Call police on 101.