Stolen Tortoise Home Again

Anonymous tip leads to Spur's safe return

A giant, 70-pound tortoise that was stolen from a suburban pet store is home safe, but she may not be popping her head out of her shell anytime soon.

Someone broke into The Animal Store on Touhy Avenue in Lincolnwood early Saturday morning, and took off with the tortoise, named Spur.

"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.

Bearman said he received a call from his alarm company and from Lincolnwood police around 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."

Bearman and his wife, Susan, said an anonymous tip led to Spur's safe return, and she's only slightly worse for wear.

"She's a little freaked out and ... reluctant to come out of her shell, but we think she'll be just fine," Susan Bearman wrote in a post on The Animal Store's blog.

The Bearmans thanked the media for helping to get the word out about their stolen friend.  They  say Spur is a fixture of community, a frequent visitor to senior centers, day care facilities and animal shows.   She's about 30 years old, quite young for a sulcata tortoise.  They can live to be more than 100 if well cared for, Kenn Bearman said. 

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