Real-life cat burglar: Boxer shorts, slippers, thong and a dozen pairs of socks all among haul stolen by pet “Dennis the Menace”
Dennis pinches everything from towels to toys from his neighbours and carries or drags them home through his cat flapOwner Lesley Newman, 49, from Luton, has two boxes full of stolen items for neighbours to collect
A mischievous pet has become infamous throughout his neighbourhood as ‘Dennis the Menace’ after stealing more than one hundred garments from his nearby homes and gardens.
The real-life cat burglar has a weakness for pinching and has swiped all manner of items, which he takes home to his embarrassed owner Lesley Newman, aged 49.
Over an 18 month crime spree Dennis’ haul includes a bath towel, a thong, a football, five paintbrushes, a pair of slippers, an designer shirt, a doll and gloves.
Cheeky cat Dennis, now known as Denis the Menace to his neighbours, with his haul of stolen goods
He has taken men’s boxer shorts, a pair of shoes, a cardigan, a dog chew, dozens of pairs of socks, a chamois leather, tea towels, seven car sponges and a cuddly toy.
Victims of the two-year-old black and white cat’s antics often turn up at Mrs Newman’s home in Luton, Bedfordshire, when their belongings go missing.
The first theft was recorded just a week after he was let out of the house for the first time, with his stolen stash growing week on week until he began carrying home T-shirts in his mouth, often having to jump over garden fences along the way.
His largest prize to date is a bath towel which he dragged through the streets and his most expensive is a Fred Perry polo short.
On one occasion he retrieved a woman’s sandal from a garden in a neighbouring road – and returned a week later to pinch the other one.
Many of the items have fallen off washing lines as they often have clothes pegs still attached.
CCTV footage captures Dennis carrying a bike helmet bag in his mouth on to the family”s driveway
On another occasion he is caught on camera with a hand towel between his teeth
Dennis also works at night, pictured in the dark pushing his loot through the cat flap and taking it up to Mrs Newman in bed
Mrs Newman, an accounts assistant, has built up two large boxes filled with Dennis’ loot which she keeps in case anyone arrives to claim ownership of them.
She said: ‘Dennis is a rescue cat and we have had him since he was six-weeks-old.
‘After he had been neutered I let him and my other cat, Eddie, out for the first time when they were six-months-old.
‘Itwas just a week after that when Dennis brought his first things home. Itstarted off as a sock and some paper, but gradually escalated.
‘It wasn’t just lighter items like a pair of pants, there were heavier things such as a Barbie doll in and a bath towel.
“He has completely filled two large boxes.
“I tracked down the lady who lost her sandals and Dennis would have had to scale five 6ft fences to get there and back.
Lesley Newman said the naughty pet often brings other people”s belongings to her in bed believing they are prey
Dennis” crime spree started just a week after he was allowed out of the house for the first time, regularly carrying home items like pants and t-shirts in his mouth
Embarrassed Mrs Newman shows off the two boxes full of clothing and toys that two-year-old Dennis has pinched over the last 18 months
‘I would say he has taken well over 100 things now, so I have started collecting them up and if people are looking for something, I tell them to knock on my door.
‘I have never tried to stop his behaviour, I would much rather him bring objects into the house than dead animals.
Thieving cat Dennis has been affectionately called Dennis the Menace by neighbours after the troublesome cartoon character, pictured
‘He normally leaves them outside the front door but some of the time he will bring them up to me bed while I am asleep.
‘He obviously thinks all these items are prey.’
Vicky Halls, a cat behaviourist, said: ‘There are so many different theories on why cats steal, but I think it’s a basic hunting instinct.
‘I have seen many cats steal all sorts of things and bring them in through the cat flap and carry items as if they were prey.
‘It’s relatively common in cats for them to do this, and it could be the process of finding an object, grabbing it, and taking it back that they like, not actually the item itself.
‘Or, it could be the texture and feel of certain items in their mouths that they like, which could be why certain things are taken time and time again.
‘All of these things can easily make them develop a habit, and Dennis has become a bit of a huntaholic.’
VIDEO: Guilty! “Dennis the Menace” caught on CCTV… DM.has(“rcpv1848557384001″,”BCVideo”);