Cat stolen from owner and sold to neighbours in 'quick cash grab'

Alison Ward is over the moon to have her cat, Scooby back at home with her. 

Alison Ward's beloved cat Scooby was stolen in NR3 and sold online - Credit: Alison Ward

A beloved pet was snatched from his owner and sold online after criminals targeted the NR3 area.

Alison Ward, 49, shares her home with "popular and friendly" cat Scooby.

Now around fourteen years old, Scooby was originally brought to Norwich from Cyprus 11 years ago by animal-lover Alison.  

Scooby is well known in Fishergate for just walking through any open door. 

Scooby is well known in Fishergate for just walking through any open door. - Credit: Richard Howes

Alison said: “Scooby is very well-known in the Fishergate area as he still treats it like he is in Cyprus.  

“Everywhere is his home. He visits Looses in Magdalen Street often - he will walk into any open door.” 

And the roaming moggie is a big fan of his food - which is why his owner became concerned when he didn't return home for dinner on May 16.

Alison said: “At first we thought maybe he had accidentally been shut in somewhere but he is so vocal someone would have heard him.”  

Most Read

Over the next five days the distraught woman put up 80 posters in the area as well as spreading the message on social media.

Scooby is very popular in the Fishergate area. 

Scooby is very popular in the Fishergate area. - Credit: Richard Howes

On May 22 at around 10pm, Alison received a message online which revealed Scooby's whereabouts.

Alison explained: “The person messaged me saying: ‘Oh my goodness, my relative sent me a photo of your cat. We bought him earlier in the week.’

"The person had bought Scooby online and lived nearby - their understanding was that he was no longer wanted.” 

Scooby was swiftly returned home but Alison was horrified to find him covered in scabs from "head to tail". 

She said: “The person who bought him was in bits when she realised she had bought someone else's cat. 

“The thought that someone could take animals to earn quick cash is horrible.

"The injuries on him make me think he's been held somewhere with other animals."

Scooby is so friendly that Alison said he would be easy to steal. 

Scooby is so friendly that Alison said he would be easy to steal. - Credit: Richard Howes

“Scooby took a good 24 hours to settle back in as he was very on edge but we could tell the people that bought him had taken good care of him,” she added. 

Norfolk Police said: "Police received a report of a theft after a cat was stolen and then sold on in Norwich on May 16. Enquiries are ongoing."