IslingtonTribune

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Who stole Bella the shop cat? Man walks in and takes moggy

CCTV shows suspect carrying popular pet away from Angel store

24 February, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

CCTV footage shows a man carrying Bella away from her Nisa Local home in Angel. Right: Bella

CUSTOMERS have joined the search for a missing moggy after a brazen thief walked into an Islington shop and stole its beloved pet cat.

Bella, who lived at the Nisa Local in Angel, was a huge hit with customers after she was brought to the family-run shop less than a year ago.

CCTV caught a man entering the shop, picking her up and riding off with her on a bicycle earlier this month.

Now customers have joined forces with the owners to launch a “find Bella” campaign in a desperate bid to track down the beloved pet.

Haseeb Kashmiri, who runs the shop with his brothers and cousin, thought Bella was asleep downstairs when he started his shift.

Haseeb Kashmiri, who runs the shop, was stunned when he saw the CCTV

“I went downstairs calling her name but she didn’t respond,” said Mr Kashmiri. “That’s when I knew I had to check the CCTV.”

The footage shows a man in a Union Jack beanie hat entering the shop in St John Street at 2pm and swiping Bella, who was sitting by the newspapers at the front of the store.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Mr Kashmiri, 26. “Why would you steal a cat? We miss her and want her back.

“She’s the friendliest cat you could ever meet. Even people who don’t like cats like her. The customers are devastated – they keep asking if she’s been found.”

Mr Kashmiri said he was not sure of Bella’s precise breed, but customers have told him she is half-Persian, half-Bengal, which would make her more valuable than the average tabby.

“This guy doesn’t look like the kind of person who would take care of a cat,” he added.

Mr Kashmiri said he had been overwhelmed by the response of customers, who have set up websites and Facebook pages in response to the catnapping.

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