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Have you seen this cat? Wanted – for serious charges of burglary

Siamese cross cat steals money in Ipswich cat-happy
© Rachael Drouet - BBC

This beautiful Siamese cross is making quite a name for himself in Ipswich – as a professional burglar!

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 06/03/2019, 17:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:51

A background in robbery

Theo, an 8-year-old black and white Siamese cross, is quite the kleptomaniac. And he’s been channelling this dark side for a while now – his stealing began as far back as 2013. He would return home with a range of different prizes – from phone chargers, to pens, Christmas decorations, and even a child’s artwork! At the time, owners Rachel Drouet and Paul Edwards told the BBC that Theo was becoming “a bit of a neighbourhood celebrity for all the wrong reasons”, and jokingly added “We live in hope that one day he’ll bring back an iPad or something of significant value”.  Well, it seems their prayers were answered! 

His greatest coup

Rachel and Paul recently moved to a different neighbourhood, and hoped that this would put an end to Theo’s thieving habits. But no such thing happened. This handsome cat recently made front page news for his latest steal, when he came home carrying a small plastic bag…filled with cash! The money was none other than the neighbours’ who had left it out for the milkman. Theo, however, thought it best to take it home as a gift to his beloved owners. Fortunately, there was an address in the little plastic bag, and Paul was able to return the money to their neighbour. Mr Edwards told the BBC it had been a “great way for me to introduce our cat’s behaviour to the new neighbours”. 

So why is he doing this?

According to cat biologist and behaviourist Roger Tabor, cats bringing back ‘gifts’ actually derives from their instinctual hunting behaviour. However, if the cat is bringing back human objects rather than prey, Tabor believes the cat in question may not have spent enough time learning from its mother: “Without the normal learning interactions of a mother or other kittens, they have become particularly fixated on ‘toys’ and continue to hunt them”. 

Owners Rachel and Paul regularly use Facebook to reunite belongings with corresponding neighbours. “Luckily, they think it’s hilarious” Ms Drouet told the BBC. It seems Theo is rapidly becoming the UK’s most famous burglar – but also the most cherished. How can you be angry at such a cute kitty?