UNITED KINGDOM – The heartbroken owners of a beloved ginger cat have just released an actual video of their pet being brazenly stolen from outside their home in a desperate bid to try and get him back for Christmas.
CCTV footage captured the very moment three-and-a-half-year-old tabby Mr Cheeky was cat-napped from the courtyard by a man after seemingly being enticed by a woman laden with shopping bags.
Owner Ollie Wilson, who 54, explained that he and his girlfriend Laura King, 46, are absolutely devastated that Mr. Cheeky has been catnapped and hope their neighbor’s CCTV video will help ensure his safe return and catch those responsible.
The ginger rescue cat is luckily neutered, microchipped and was wearing a yellow collar when he was stolen.
The cat has a chipped upper right tooth and is described as a ‘friendly’ animal. So far attempts to track those responsible have failed.
Mr. Wilson, who is a journalist who lives with Laura, an accommodation manager, in Hove, East Sussex, said: ‘We realized Mr. Cheeky was missing the morning after he was stolen.
‘He was taken at 11.52pm on Sunday, December 4. The following day he didn’t come in for breakfast and we’ve been looking for him ever since.
‘It was only recently that my neighbour was able to show me CCTV and that showed two people stealing Mr Cheeky from our courtyard.’
The footage shows a man clearly stroking Mr Cheeky before a woman appears, bends down and calls or entices the cat to her.
Next, the man approached Mr Cheeky and picked him up with both hands. He seems to struggle with the feline before walking up the road with the woman and Mr Cheeky in his hands.
Sussex Police are currently investigating the incident.
Mr Wilson went on to add: ‘Mr Cheeky is a very friendly cat and it is shocking to know he’s been stolen. We’re devastated and we want him home by Christmas.
‘It’s a callous and stupid thing for someone to do.
‘I’d never expect someone to steal Mr Cheeky, he’s not a pedigree cat. We actually rescued him from Lost Cats rescue centre when he was around three months old.
‘We have another cat called Django and he and Mr Cheeky were inseparable. He is missing his friend.
‘Mr Cheeky had been inside all evening fast asleep. He left through the catflap and was sat in the courtyard when he was taken.
‘It’s been very upsetting and stressful. Mr Cheeky is such a character, he’s much loved and we enjoyed having him here at home. We’re worried about him and we hope he is okay.
‘I’m appealing to the couple in the CCTV to please return Mr Cheeky.’
The man in the CCTV is probably in his twenties and is described as white, 5ft 8in tall, of stocky build, with short brown hair that is shaved at the sides. He was wearing a black jacket, light jeans or perhaps Chinos and deck shoes.
The woman is approximately 5ft 6in tall and was wearing a long padded black coat with a fur-lined hood, knee-length dark dress and black low-cut ankle boots with light patterned leggings or something similar in the footage.
Investigating Officer Zoe Ayres, who is of Sussex Police, stated: ‘Mr Cheeky is micro-chipped and is missed dearly by his owners.
‘We are appealing to anyone who might recognise the man or the woman or have information as to the location of his whereabouts.
‘I would also like to appeal to the people in the video as our main priority is to get Mr Cheeky back safe with his owners.
‘He is probably very distressed being away from his normal surroundings and it is obviously very upsetting for his owners.’