Giant Tortoise Stolen from Lincolnwood Shop

Kenn Bearman

The glass has been cleaned up and the door repaired, but visitors to The Animal Store in Lincolnwood will definitely notice something missing.

The mascot of the store, a 70-pound sulcata tortoise named Spur, was stolen from the shop, at 4364 W. Touhy Ave., early Saturday morning.

"They lifted her out and left without touching anything else, taking anything else.  They just reached in and took her out," said the store's owner, Kenn Bearman, in describing the heist.

Bearman said he received a call from his alarm company and from Lincolnwood police at about 4 a.m. alerting him of trouble at the store.

"They knew exactly what they were after," Bearman said, theorizing that the theft must have been well-planned.  "They'd have to have a car ready and somebody would have to be really big to lift this thing up."

He lamented that a fixture of community, often taken to senior centers, day care centers and animal shows, and adored through the window by visitors to a neighboring Starbucks, is now missing.

The Animal Store has surveillance video, but the cameras view the inside of the store.  Only a wrist -- perhaps an ankle -- came into the camera's view.

"They literally just stepped inside the store -- they didn't even come in more than 13 inches and they took this tortoise right out the door,"

At about 30 years old, Spur is relatively young for her age.  Sulcata tortoises can live to be "100-plus," Bearman said. Still, she's been under a vet's care for the 20 years she's been with the store and requires special attention.

If not provided with the proper lighting and diet, Spur's health could deteriorate within months, he said.

Anyone with any information about Spur should contact Lincolnwood police at 847-673-2167.

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