Police avoid cat-astrophe by solving cat-napping case


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A couple who reportedly stole two kittens from a Sayreville pet adoption center on two consecutive days have been identified and apprehended by police.

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A 30-year-old male and a 27-year-old female were located in Carteret on Aug. 4 and charged with one count of theft of a domesticated animal, according to information provided by Captain Daniel Plumacker of the Sayreville Police Department.

Animal Rescue Force (ARF) of East Brunswick, which operates out of Sayrebrook Veterinary Hospital on Main Street in Sayreville, said that a man and female stole Maggie and Berkley out of their cages on July 29 and 30, respectively, according to information provided by ARF.

According to Amy Ray, one of the adoption managers, a volunteer was cleaning a cage on July 30 and noticed that there were four names on the cage but only three kittens inside.

“We suspected the whole day that [Maggie] was hiding,” Ray said.

However, Ray coincidentally went to the hospital around 2 p.m. July 30 – which was her scheduled day off – and heard people screaming that Berkley had been stolen. When witnesses gave descriptions of the suspects, Ray said she realized they were the same people who were there the night prior.

“They had stolen Maggie at the end of the day on Saturday and they had taken Berkley on Sunday,” she said, noting that since there are different volunteers scheduled each day, no one would have been suspicious about seeing the same people two days in a row. “You wouldn’t think this is common at all, how brazen it is.”

Ray said that in the time a volunteer handed the kitten to the female suspect and then turned around to help a family who were adopting a different cat, the woman ran out the door.

She and the male reportedly left in a 2006-08 black Pontiac Grand Prix with a Pennsylvania license plate, according to surveillance footage obtained by Ray.

Plumacker said Woodbridge Police assisted with a tip that helped identify the suspects, who were both released with a court date.

Berkley was recovered in good health and turned over to the humane society, he said. Police said that only one kitten was removed by the suspects from the shelter. The whereabouts of the other kitten are not known, according to Ray.

Ray also said that the woman previously adopted two kittens in January and an adult cat and kitten in May.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.

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