Seven tortoises worth around £3,000 were stolen from the rear of a home in Merstham.

The pets were taken from an outbuilding to the rear of a property in Rockshaw Road between December 14 and 16.

Surrey Police said the thief or thieves did not try to get into the main property, and a number of items have been collected from the scene for forensic analysis.

Merstham Neighbourhood Specialist Officer PC Hannah Vincent said: “Understandably the owner of the tortoises is concerned for their welfare and safety due to the specialist care they require, and we would ask anyone with information to get in touch with us.”

PC Vincent said: “These animals can potentially reach a very high resale value and it is thought they may have been targeted because of this.

“We would therefore like to remind people to make sure your pets are kept safe and secure at all times.”

The stolen tortoises comprised two female three-year-old Sulcatas, two female three-year-old Hermanns, a two-year-old Margunated, a four-year-old Margunated, and a female 14-year-old Spur- thighed tortoise.

The pets were taken between 5.30am on Tuesday, December 14, and 11.30am on Thursday, December 16.

Anyone with information, who knows the whereabouts of the tortoises or who has been offered them for sale should call Surrey Police on 0845 125 2222, quoting reference RB/10/11443.