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Stolen Tortoise Returned Safe And Sound

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(Credit: The Animal Store)

(Credit: The Animal Store)

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Updated 07/03/11 – 3:25 p.m.

LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (CBS) – Thanks to an anonymous tip, a tortoise that was stolen from a Lincolnwood pet store has been returned safe and sound, if “a little freaked out.”

Spur, a 70-pound tortoise, was stolen from a display window The Animal Store in Lincolnwood early Saturday morning. Someone broke the glass front door of the exotic pet shop and took the 35-year-old tortoise from her pen, according to owner Kenn Bearman.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports, On Sunday morning, Bearman said Spur, a female Sulcata tortoise, had been returned safe and sound. He said some Good Samaritans found Spur eating grass in someone’s yard and brought her back to the store.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty Reports

“We are happy to report that she has been returned safely. She’s a little freaked out, but otherwise healthy,” Bearman said in an email. “An anonymous tip led to her return today with only a few minor dings. She’s a little freaked out and hiding in her shell, but we think she’ll be fine.”

Bearman said the break-in and theft had garnered a lot of attention, which he believes led to whoever took Spur deciding to return the tortoise on Sunday.

“I got calls this morning from Florida and Michigan. People sent photos in, they saw people walking with their tortoises and they thought they could be mine,” Bearman said. “I think that’s exactly how we got her back. She became such a hot commodity that they basically dumped her out and got rid of her.”

Bearman has owned Spur since The Animal Store opened in 1991. Bearman said she’s the store mascot and would often visit retirement homes and children’s parties.

He said it took a couple hours for Spur to come out of her shell on Sunday, but she’s eating and doing well.

Surveillance video captured only the foot of the person who took Spur from the store, according to Bearman. No other animals were stolen.

(The Sun-Times Media wire contributed to this report.)

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