Rogue tortoise returned to owner - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Rogue tortoise returned to owner

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A tough tortoise found herself in a bit of a pickle last week.  Her name is Jeeps.

"Jeeps, like the truck," owner Trisha Walker said.

Jeeps took herself on a wild ride Friday.

"I didn't realize she had gotten out until I came home and saw the gardeners had left the gate open," Walker said.

"My husband called me out and said there's a tortoise walking down the road," said neighbor Tempest Deptuch.

Deptuch spotted Jeeps, scooped her up and put up some flyers to help find her owner.

"About 20 minutes later, a fellow phoned and said that he'd lost his tortoise," Deptuch said.

She compared a cell phone photo and took down the guy's contact info before handing Jeeps over.

"He put it in the front seat of his auto parts truck and left. As he left, my neighbors came over and said, 'Have you seen a tortoise? The landscaper left the gate open.' And I went, 'Oh my God, that guy just claimed him.'"

They called the cops, and Officer Ryan Ferrell came to the rescue.

"You know, when I first saw the details on our call for service, I thought it was a typo," Ferrell said.

Once he realized the rogue reptile call was legitimate, he helped track down the person who claimed it - 24-year-old Derek McKnight. He gave Jeeps back to a very happy Walker.

"It's wonderful to have her home again," Walker said.

As for Jeeps, she's busy soaking up her 15 minutes of fame.

"Well she's quite the celebrity today, she's pretty full of herself," Walker said.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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