Alleged cat thieves caught stuffing family pet in box amid 'wave of catnappings'

A pair of suspected cat thieves have been caught on camera allegedly trying to stuff a family's pet into a box.

And there are worries the duo could be responsible for a string of similar thefts in Solihull.Victims have come forward claiming their pets have vanished only to later turn up on a pet selling website. The string of thefts has been reported to the police.

In the footage above, the cat escapes the box as the would-be thieves were rumbled by the householders, alerted by the family dog. When quizzed, the suspects claimed to be from animal charity organisations.

One victim told of her little girl being unable to cuddle her beloved pet each night before bed.

Worried Jodie Smith, from Chelmsley Wood, said cat Arlo had been missing since the end of January. The mum of two didn't know what had happened until a friend found the two-year-old pet on a selling website.

Arlo had been missing since the end of January. Credit: BPM Images

An online group investigated and found a number of other missing cats were also listed for sale.

Charlene Jones, who captured the footage above, explained her cat Benson had been pinched weeks before her doorbell filmed the alleged thieves. The clip was recorded in the middle of the night and showed another cat apparently being targeted.

She said: "I just assumed he had gone missing. The only reason I checked my CCTV was because my dog barked and I caught them in the act."

She told how she had later confronted a woman who she believed to be the cat thief. First, the woman told her Benson had died before admitting she had sold the eight-year-old feline.

"I feel angry," Charlene added. "I have done my own research, she has been selling cats for eight months."

She said: "My cat has got a gold collar and in the pictures for the advert he has still got the gold collar on. [The thief] is stealing cats and selling them online."

Jodie, also from Chelmsley Wood, explained she had tried not to worry her child but word got around after the online campaign was launched.

She went on: "She's heartbroken. We all are. He is our family cat. He is a cheeky little thing and he is gone.

"There are other families going through the same heartbreak. For a lady to have some money in her pocket she is destroying little children."

Jodie, who said she wanted to raise awareness of what had happened, said she was "100 per cent" convinced it was her cat on the reselling website. She made a call to West Midlands Police and claimed the force had received similar reports.