Caught On Camera: Woman Allegedly Steals Rare Persian Cat From Animal Shelter In East Harlem

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman was caught on camera allegedly stealing a Persian cat right from its kennel at a Manhattan shelter.

Now, the staff at the shelter hopes someone recognizes the alleged cat-napper, and so does the couple that was supposed to become the cat’s rightful owner.

Surveillance video shows the woman going down the Animal Care & Control’s stairs in East Harlem with the cat, named Snow, inside her purse, CBS2’s Erin Logan reported.

“They are the kind of cats that you buy from a breeder or a pet store. So because we don’t get them often, people were really, really interested in that cat,” Assistant Manager Amanda Russo said.

They were lined up Saturday trying to claim Snow, which is why the woman wasn’t taking any chances, Logan reported.

Sadly, Snow already had an owner and a new name: Miley. She was supposed to be picked up from the shelter once she was spayed.

The incident, of course, was concerning for shelter supervisors.

“Oh wow. That’s sad. Whoever she is, I hope you’re taking care of the animal,” a visitor at the shelter, Cecilia Rucker, said.

Supervisors said once people walk through the door, they usually explain they’re there too look at pets up for adoption. Before they enter any rooms, they sign in. But this woman did not.

It was so busy Saturday, the woman just waited for an opportunity. When she noticed no one around, she took a sign, reading “I’ve been adopted,” and swiped the cat, Logan reported.

Rucker’s 11-year-old son told Logan how he’d respond if someone were to steal a pet he started to bond with.

“I would go take that person down,” he said.

While police try and track down the alleged thief and Miley, there is some good news. The rightful owner adopted a Siamese cat named Cookie.

But she said she cried her eyes out all day on Easter, hoping Cookie could have her sister, Miley.

Anyone who sees the cat or the suspect is urged to call Animal Care & Control.

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