Local News


Tortoise returned after stolen from backyard

Posted at 12:17 AM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-31 16:22:28-05
UPDATE: On Saturday, Damian Falcone told Action News that Junebug has been found! He showed back up in Falcone's backyard but Falcone does not know how.
Junebug has some minor scrapes and chips in his shell.

Falcone is extremely thankful and impressed by the power of social media.

"What motivates people to do the right thing? Pressure helps," he said. "I think maybe somebody hears enough opinions from other people and they say you know what that is right. Or maybe somebody around them says that was the right thing to do."

Junebug was missing for 10 days.

The owner of two large tortoises is sending out a desperate plea for help tonight after someone stole one of his tortoises.
Damian Falcone lives near Sahara Avenue and Jones Boulevard and says someone stole his tortoise named Junebug.
Junebug's brother, Bubba, is lost without the missing tortoise.
"When I bought them, they were about a year old and that was the deal," said Falcone. "They went together or they didn't go."
So Falcone had no choice but to buy both tortoises more than ten years ago.
"Every day they spend all day together," he said.
Now the hunt is on to find out who took Junebug, who was stolen right out of Falcone's backyard.
"The wall ranges in height, but who is going to pick up a 75-pound tortoise and a wagon?" asked Falcone. "I just don't get it!"
Three weeks before Junebug was stolen, Falcone noticed about a dozen cacti were missing from his backyard.
"When close to a dozen of them were missing and then I look on the outside of my wall and there's broken pieces of these all over the ground on the street," he said. "I never thought they would come back and take my tortoise. Had i thought they could get away with it, I would have done a lot more!"
Falcone has an idea of who it could be. He says a couple of guys did some landscape work for him and they used to see the tortoises every day. But why would they take his pet?
"Why would these guys want him?" he asked. "I don't think they appreciate him as much as me."
Falcone is angry, upset, and confused. He headed to Facebook to get some help. He posted a picture of his pet tortoises. Falcone was shocked by the positive response and the number of shares his post got.
"I wasn't thinking about nice people like that," said Falcone. "I was thinking about the rotten, no-good, low-life that maybe took my wagon and my pet," said Falcone.
Falcone is offering a $1000 reward for anyone who can get Junebug back. His website is www.damianfalcone.com.