Owner reports cat burglar to police

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The Independent Online

The owners of a cat reported their pet to the police after it started stealing dozens of knickers and items of underwear from neighbouring gardens.

Peter and and Birgitt Weismantel adopted Oscar from the Cats Protection charity at Christmas.

But as the 12-year-old cat started to settle in at their home in Gordon Avenue, Southampton, Hampshire, it started bringing home its stolen booty.

The cat burglar's loot started with gardening gloves but quickly moved on to ladies knickers, socks and 10 pairs of children's underwear.

As the haul built up, Mr Weismantel, 72, became concerned that neighbours would think there was a thief operating in the area so he contacted police to tell them about his pet's anti-social behaviour.

Mr Weismantel said that Oscar had brought home about 70 items in recent weeks.

He said: "When we let him out in the garden he started bringing us back gardening gloves and bits of rubber gloves and then he went up market and started bringing back children's knickers.

"Then it began to escalate and I telephoned the police as people must have been missing clothes, especially with women's underwear being taken.

"But he just doesn't stop and he's still doing it now."

Mr Weismantel added: "It's all a bit mysterious. We don't know where he's getting the items from because there are no children living near to us so he might be going quite far afield.

"We feel that he is bringing us presents as a token of appreciation, an offer to help pay his way."

Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services at Cats Protection, said: "Cats generally bring prey or other items back to the core area of their territory where they feel safe, usually the house for domestic cats.

"This is a natural behaviour that is completely normal and isn't a cause for concern."

The Southampton branch is part of Cats Protection's national network of 29 adoption centres and 252 volunteer-run branches which together help 193,000 cats and kittens each year in the UK.