Larceny Effort Suspected On Social Media
by Carla Occaso
MONTPELIER — At least two cat owners called the Montpelier Police Department July 28 to report missing cats. And speculation about an organized kitty larceny effort has been circulating on Montpelier’s very active Front Porch Forum — a Vermont-based social networking website.
“Apparently, individual(s) identifying themselves as ‘The Kitty Police’ have been stealing outdoor cats in Montpelier, particularly on Barre Street. These cats are not being taken to humane societies or the actual police, and so it would seem that either they are being ‘saved’ by some insane vigilante, or they are being used for more sinister purposes,” writes Caroline Munroe of Barre Street. Munroe owns a cat named Biggie Smalls the Notorious C.A.T., or “Biggie” for short.
“My mom’s friend’s cat was taken, and they’ve called all the shelters in the state,” Munroe told The Bridge by digital message. “Nobody has her.”
Captain Neil Martel of the Montpelier Police Department verified at least two reports of missing cats and the additional report of a witness saying they observed someone taking a cat and identifying themselves as “the kitty police.”
“We do have some reports of cats missing,” Martel said. “We don’t have anyone identified of who the catnapper might be at this time.” Martel said that people often call in about missing animals, and unless they are house cats, cats tend to go outside, wander around and come back. Martel said there is also a report that someone saw a woman take a cat, but the police have not verified if this was a theft, or the person’s own cat or what. It is all somewhat speculative, Martel said. But he said the department is not dismissing the situation or taking it lightly because pets are like family. Other recent Front Porch Forum posts have called for neighbors to keep their eyes out and report any description of additional cat thefts to police. Others urge cat owners to keep their cats indoors so they will be safe. “If you see someone taking a cat, get a good look, and contact the police. This is not okay, and it needs to stop,” Munroe posted on Front Porch Forum July 29.