Burgh Castle man’s anger at wait to deal with his stolen tortoise

Mike Dimmack, of Burgh Castle who said after his tortoise was stolen he was told he would have to wa

Mike Dimmack, of Burgh Castle who said after his tortoise was stolen he was told he would have to wait three weeks by police. - Credit: Geraldine Scott

A Burgh Castle man has expressed his disappointment after being told he would have to wait for police to look into the case of his stolen tortoise.

Mike Dimmack, of Butt Lane, had his tortoise - called Tort - for 33 years before he went missing last week.

Mr Dimmack believes Tort was stolen - and even thinks he knows who took him - but said he was told by Great Yarmouth police they wouldn't have time to look into it for three weeks.

He said: 'I was sitting outside on Monday afternoon and he crawled into the grass like he does.

'I realised I hadn't paid a bill so popped down to the post office - I must have only been gone about seven or eight minutes - and when I came back he was gone.

'There are no gates, but no one has ever tried to steal him from there before.'

Mr Dimmack said some people had suggested Tort - who was first found by Mr Dimmack's parents - could have just got away on his own.

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But he said he knew who had taken his beloved pet, and had seen him hanging around the area at the time.

'Someone said they saw him carrying [the tortoise] under his arm,' he added.

'They knew it was Tort because people know me as the tortoise man, even the police used to come round and pet him.'

'When I contacted the police first of all they said he had just gone missing, but when I went down to see them at the police station they said they couldn't do anything for three weeks. They said they were so overloaded because of officer cuts they have got at least 20 cases on each.'

Mr Dimmack, 69, said although he knew it wasn't the most pressing of crimes, it was important to him.

'He was stolen once before, and he's got a crack in his shell from that, so he's distinctive.

'If it was a gold watch or something I would write it off but when it's a live animal it's a different matter.'

A spokesman from Norfolk Constabulary said they were looking into the lost tortoise, but that they had to prioritise potential crimes based on their severity.