RAVENNA, Ohio - It’s a heist that gives “cat burglar” new meaning. A Kent woman was arrested after deputies said she broke into the Portage Animal Protective League and stole a cat that wasn’t even hers.
Investigators said Kristeen L. Pascoe, 48, of Kent, used a poop scooper to smash an office window and break into the closed facility on Infirmary Road. Surveillance footage showed her moving throughout the facility and opening cages, before leaving with a black cat, according to APL officials. A second cat likely escaped through the broken window, they said.
“You immediately start to panic. What’s wrong? Are the animals okay? Are they loose? Are they get hurt? Did someone hurt them, take them?” said Portage APL Executive Director Chalan Lowry.
Lowry said APL employees noticed the broken window when they arrived to the facility early Friday morning and recognized Pacoe in the surveillance video. Kent Police had seized six cats wandering on Overbrook Drive near Pascoe’s home in early February. Lowry said she later claimed those cats as her own, and they were released to her. However, she insisted the APL still had more of her cats, Lowry said, and apparently took matters into her own hands.
“The cat that she left with was not her cat,” Lowry said. “It's a cat from Mogadore. A really nice, young cat named Samuel, about 8 months old, and she left with him. I don’t know what would possess her to take a cat that's not hers, but we're certainly worried about him.”
Investigators said they believed Pascoe also attempted to break into the Portage County Water Resources Department, which is adjacent to the APL, because she thought the cats were in that building. Deputies arrested Pascoe at her Kent home Friday and said she showed no remorse.
“Those cats are very important to her. She refers to them as her family, and she did make the comment that she wanted to get her family back intact,” said Lt. Gregory Johnson, with the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.
Pascoe was arraigned on charges of felony breaking and entering, felony vandalism and theft and was being held in the Portage County Jail on a $15,000 bond. Deputies said she had been previously arrested for theft and OVI.
The two cats remained missing Wednesday.