SHE’S ‘CAT’ IN THE ACT

Video is clue in shock­ing bodega kitty theft

New York Post - - NEWS - By DEAN BALSAMINI dbal­samini@ny­post.com

Brook­lyn bodega owner Mir Kasham had a mouse prob­lem in his Church Av­enue store, so he got a kit­ten.

That cre­ated a cat bur­glar prob­lem.

Po­lice are now on the prowl for a cal­lous kit-nap­per who walked off with Kasham’s beloved 3-month-old, Takela, on the night of Sept. 3.

The caper be­gan at about 8 p.m., when a young man walked into the Moon Mini Mart in Kens­ing­ton, bought some cook­ies and started play­ing with the feline.

Bizarrely, he then of­fered Kasham $50 for the sil­very gray fur­ball.

Kasham told the pushy pa­tron Takela was not for sale, not­ing that city an­i­mal shel­ters are filled with cud­dly cats need­ing a home.

Kasham even of­fered to find the stranger, who said he was from Queens, an­other kitty.

“He said, ‘I like the cat. I’ll be back,’ ” Kasham told The Post.

About two hours later, a thin young woman wear­ing black framed glasses walked in the store and be­gan strolling the aisles.

She is cap­tured on sur­veil­lance footage coolly pick­ing up Takela, tuck­ing the kit­ten un­der her arm, and cov­er­ing her with a coat be­fore walk­ing off with it. “What kind of per­son takes a lit­tle cat?” a heart­bro­ken Kasham told The Post. “Takela is like a fam­ily mem­ber.” Kasham sus­pects the man and woman were in ca­hoots. An­gel Nieves, a re­tired NYPD de­tec­tive who does pet in­ves­ti­ga­tions, the­o­rized that the kit-nap­per might be a self-ap­pointed an­i­mal “res­cuer.”

“There is a stereo­type that store­keep­ers don’t feed the cats so the cats will kill the mice and rats. [The thief] prob­a­bly be­lieves the cat isn’t be­ing fed,” Nieves told The Post. But Takela is well loved. The store­keeper said his cus­tomers and 14-year-old son, Aaquil, are “crushed” by the theft, which was first re­ported by The Brook­lyn Pa­per.

“Please bring it back. Ev­ery­one misses Takela!” said Kasham, who filed a re­port with 66th Precinct po­lice.

FUR HEAVEN’S SAKESAKE: TTake­lakl the kit­ten (above) ap­pears to have been stolen by a cus­tomer cap­tured on se­cu­rity video (right). Store owner Mir Kasham (be­low) is look­ing for his beloved pet.

An­gel Chevrestt

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