The humble tortoise appears to be top of this summer's most wanted list for thieves, sparking an interest in the type of insurance available if the exotic creatures should disappear.

Top Gear, Tom and Jerry all received national press coverage after they were kidnapped from the comfort of their own garden this summer.

Given that tortoises are worth hundreds of pounds - and are slow moving and don't bite - it is not surprising they are seen as a good catch for the criminal fraternity.

A spokesman for Animal Health, part of Allianz Cornhill, said the increased number of 'tortoise-nappings' had not affected premiums.

But he said the number of reported cases had recently doubled.