Many readers may be awestruck when they learn that in 2009, a monkey was trained to steal hundreds of dollars and in 2013, a man got five years behind bars for teaching a ferret to nab cell phones. That is all couch change and pocket lint compared to what 83-year-old Ruth Gregson trained her 65 cats to do, as the World News Daily Report confirms.
The elderly bandit (by kitten proxy) was arrested and stands “accused of training dozens of cats to steal jewelry and other valuables from her neighbors.” This crime netted a plethora of “shiny” and “small objects” such as “valuable cutlery and pieces of jewelry,” according to the Columbus Police Department in Ohio.
Highly confused neighbors were told that the lady’s cats were doing the stealing, but who would believe that? So, they set up a “surveillance operation” in order to trap the aged lady. Police Chief Kim Jacobs said that they were utterly floored by what the footage revealed. It was found that “dozens of cats” were making a steady march to Gregson’s home with “anything that shined.”
“She was like Fagin in Oliver Twist, but she was using cats as thieves instead of children. In less than three hours of surveillance, the detectives saw the cats bring home more than a hundred objects,” said Jacobs. It seems that when it came to stealing, if she was going to engage it, she was not going to pussyfoot around.
After all, “investigators found $650,000 worth of jewelry and precious metal among piles of worthless shiny baubles,” so there was no way to ignore what was happening, even with the culprit’s advanced age.
All 65 of the felines, 17 of which were kittens (in training), were taken for care at the Columbus Humane Society.
Gregson sealed her fate when she admitted to training the cats, saying that they had to “earn their meals.” When it came to training, she was certainly the cat’s meow.
The plan was quite elaborate and her training skills, had she applied them legally, could have likely given a lavish income without the need to steal anything. Authorities show this to be true as they declare that “She would only feed the animals if they brought home valuables, so the animals had to steal every day in order to survive. Most were voluntarily malnourished so they would easily gain the neighbors’ pity and be allowed inside their houses.”
The literal cat burglars may have been in as many as 5,000(!) homes and apartments in the area. Those who feel that the cats may have struck them are being encouraged to call the police for clarity.
The trainer will be in the record books as the “first person in American history to be accused of training cats to steal,” though it has happened in other nations.
When this senior citizen sees her day in court, the jury is going to quite perplexed, and her sentencing should be something that causes a lot of controversies no matter how it ends.
Just the same, some punishment must be doled out, for it not, the streets will be littered with cat bandits.