Appeal after giant tortoises stolen from Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester

Officers in Dorchester are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information after four giant tortoises were stolen from Kingston Maurward College.

The incident happened overnight between Wednesday 22 August and Thursday 23 August 2018.

The offenders gained entry to a shed on the site and took four Sulcata tortoises – three female and one male. They are called Squirtle, Wartortle, Blastoise, all aged eleven, and 24-year-old Jeffery.

It is thought that the offenders entered on foot from the rear entrance to the college, which is off the unnamed road heading toward Tincleton. They have then used wheelbarrows belonging to the college to transport the animals to a vehicle before driving off.

The animals are around 40 to 50cm long and 30cm wide. They are all micro-chipped.

Police Constable Chris Stephens, of Dorchester police, said: “I am appealing to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious overnight in the area to please come forward.

“If you have any information that could assist with the investigation or have seen tortoises for sale in suspicious circumstances, please contact Dorset Police urgently.

“We are desperate to reunite them with the college to ensure they are appropriately cared for.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55180136179. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.