A MORE than 90-year-old tortoise has been reunited with its owners after being 'mysteriously' found under some floorboards.

Officers from the Braintree Community Policing Team were left flummoxed after working to find an elderly tortoise.

Police were called when the owners of Charlotte the tortoise believed she had been stolen from their garden.

Nicknamed Charlie by her owners, the tortoise has actually remained in the same family for multiple generations.

Braintree police travelled to their home in the afternoon of July 23 to investigate.

They hoped to find evidence of the potential theft via CCTV footage but soon discovered the tortoise, which is nearly as old as the First World War, simply walked off.

After a search, officers were surprised to find Charlie stuck under the floorboards of a nearby outbuilding.

She was reunited with her owners but officers were unsure how Charlie became stuck.

Speaking on social media, an Essex Police spokesman said: "Essex police received a call recently reporting the theft of a tortoise from the owner’s back garden.

"Officers from Braintree Community Policing Team arrived hoping to find CCTV footage that may provide evidence of any potential suspects.

"However a quick chat with the lovely owner revealed that Charlie had not been stolen but had infact gone on a wander.

"Despite the current owners desperately looking everywhere they eventually discovered she had got herself stuck under some floorboards in an outbuilding.

"How she got there is a mystery but she’s now back home happily munching away on her greens.

"The reason we are so pleased she has been found is because Charlie is over 90 years old and has been passed down through generations of the same family.

"It’s amazing to think she’s been about since just after the First World War.

"If only Charlie could talk, I’m sure she would tell us some amazing stories."

Is Charlie your tortoise? We'd like to hear from you. Feel free to contact george.ware@newsquest.co.uk.