A pet shop owner is appealing for thieves who stole a tortoise from his store to return it.
Dale Hick, who runs Peter’s Pet Shop in St Thomas Street, had the £100 animal taken on Monday morning when a group of men in their early 20s took it from the store.
If not given proper care it is likely the animal will die in a couple of weeks.
Police were called and are now examining CCTV footage to see if they can trace the men involved.
Mr Hick told the Scarborough News that the group caused a distraction to help them in their crime.
He said: “A group of lads came in dressed in shorts and T-shirts and I didn’t really think much of it.
“On the way out they knocked over a cage, to cause a distraction it seems, as when I had got it tidied away I noticed the tortoise had been taken.
“They probably saw the price tag and thought they might be able to get some money for it.
“My only hope is that it has been bought by someone who knows how to look after a tortoise and that it has not just been dumped somewhere. Without proper care it won’t last more than a couple of weeks.
“If anyone has been offered a tortoise or knows someone who has just bought one that they may think could have been stolen I would like them to contact me here at the store or call the police.”
The Horesfield Tortoise can live for 60 years in captivity.
Horsefield’s are quite a small species of tortoise with males reaching only about 16cm in length, while females are generally larger, reaching up to 20cm in some instances.
They are quite a high maintenance pet and will require a keeper to put in a lot of time and effort to ensure that their tortoises remain healthy and happy.
However, without proper and informed care they can fall ill and, ultimately, die.
North Yorkshire Police did not respond when asked for information about its investigation into the theft.