POLICE are appealing for information after 11 tortoises with a combined value of £3,500 were stolen in the New Forest.

The theft took place when the owner was out at the shops between 3pm and 6pm on Friday, December 20.

The creatures were in a pen in the back garden at the time. It is believed the thieves got in through a gate.

There were several different varieties of the animals of differing sizes, sexes and ages including Red Foot, Leopard and Spur thigh.

Anyone with information about the crime or who thinks they may have been offered one of the animals for sale is asked to call Acting Sgt Dean Miller at Hythe Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.