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Mystery artist who steals garden ornaments and returns them with new paint job strikes again with yin-yang tortoise

Garden ornament that was stolen and then returned painted to a home in Phillips Road and below, ornaments belonging to Avril Webb which had the same treatment

Garden ornament that was stolen and then returned painted to a home in Phillips Road and below, ornaments belonging to Avril Webb which had the same treatment

A mystery artist on an estate in Aylesbury has struck again as a tortoise ornament was returned with a yin-yang design on its shell.

Child-minder Avril Webb’s collection of farmyard animals were stolen, repainted and returned last month in Fairford Leys.

Her pig figurine became a superhero and her hedgehog was turned into the Joker, among others.

And now, the prankster has returned Sarah Ready’s ornamental tortoise with the ancient Chinese symbol paintwork after four weeks away.

Mrs Ready, 38, said it was her two-year-old son Stanley who noticed it had disappeared, as they were leaving for his nursery.

She said: “Stanley went ‘where has tortoise gone?’ and that’s how I realised.

“I did wonder if it was going to make its way back painted and overnight (Sunday) it certainly did.

“I thought it was hilarious really and I’m not sure what to make of this person but they must be doing it for a laugh.”

Mrs Ready, who is on maternity leave with six-week-old daughter Elsie, thinks the mystery artist must be ‘purposely looking’ for ornaments as the tortoise was not visible from the pathway.

Mrs Ready, who lives with husband Tony, 43, and their two young children said the tortoise was a Christmas present from her sister.

She said: “My father-in-law joked he’s going to bring round his gnomes as they could do with a spruce up!

“That would be quite interesting. It’s not a professional job but it’s definitely someone who has taken their time.

“But I’m not reading anything in to the design!”

 

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