Southampton 'cat burglar' reported to police

Oscar with his haul of underwear Oscar's anti-social behaviour was reported to the police by his owners

The owners of a cat have reported their pet to the police after it started stealing dozens of knickers and items of underwear from neighbouring gardens.

Peter and Birgitt Weismantel adopted 12-year-old Oscar from the Cats Protection charity at Christmas.

But as he started to settle in at their home in Gordon Avenue, Southampton, he started bringing home his stolen haul.

In recent weeks he has brought home about 70 items leading his owners to inform the police.

Mr Weismantel, 72, said Oscar first started bringing home gardening gloves but quickly moved on to ladies knickers, socks and children's underwear.

As the haul built up his owners became concerned that neighbours would think there was a thief operating in the area so Mr Weismantel contacted police to tell them about his pet's anti-social behaviour.

'Paying his way'

He said: "When we let him out in the garden he started bringing us back gardening gloves and bits of rubber gloves and then he went up market and started bringing back children's knickers.

"Then it began to escalate and I telephoned the police as people must have been missing clothes, especially with women's underwear being taken.

"But he just doesn't stop and he's still doing it now.

"It's all a bit mysterious. We don't know where he's getting the items from because there are no children living near to us so he might be going quite far afield.

"We feel that he is bringing us presents as a token of appreciation, an offer to help pay his way."

Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services at Cats Protection, said: "Cats generally bring prey or other items back to the core area of their territory where they feel safe, usually the house for domestic cats.

"This is a natural behaviour that is completely normal and isn't a cause for concern."

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