The community of Columbus Ohio is in an uproar as the realization sets in. 85-year-old Ruth Gregson was arrested in November after what proved to be a rather shocking investigation into the accusations that she trained her 65 cats to steal shiny, valuable objectsfrom the entire neighborhood.
The Columbus police opened an investigation in October after quite a few of Gregson’s neighbors reported small objects disappearing from their homes after being visited by the woman’s cats. Shiny objects including jewelry and cutlery began to disappear only after the felines visited their homes.
Naturally, investigators were immediately skeptical but they hesitatingly opened an investigation nonetheless and were amazed to watch what unfolded before them in such a short amount of time surveying the neighborhood!
Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs claimed that dozens of cats appeared to constantly be coming and going from Ruth’s home, bringing “anything that shined” from one location to the next. She described in a statement:
She was like Fagin in Oliver Twist, but she was using cats as thieves instead of children. In less than three hours of surveillance, the detectives saw the cats bring home more than a hundred objects.
Pictured: Columbus Police Chief, Kim Jacobs.
Chief Jacobs claims the elderly woman actually confessed to purposefully leaving her cats malnourished, forcing them to earn their meals by only giving them food when they brought home valuable objects for her.
She would only feed the animals if they brought home valuables, so the animals had to steal every day in order to survive. Most were voluntarily malnurished so they would easily gain the neighbors’ pity and be allowed inside their houses.
When the police searched her home they were completely shocked to find $650,000 worth of jewelry and precious metals among piles and piles of shiny objects that sparkled in the light. As many as 5,000 items may have been stolen throughout the neighborhood by the cats for Gregson and not all the victims may even be fully aware at this time but as more potential victims come forward that’s just how many charges the woman may end up facing in court!
Whether or not Gregson puts the ‘crazy’ in Crazy Cat Lady may still be up for debate if you have a sense of humor but the reality is that she’s looking at a 6-figure crime and it’s a very serious issue. She may not be the first person to train animals for criminal purposes but she will certainly be one that the entire Internet talks about over some of the other examples we’ve seen over the years.
Some of the most noteworthy examples include:
In 2009 a monkey was caught on surveillance camera stealing hundreds of dollars worth of plants from a Texas nursery. The theory from investigators was that the monkey was trained to steal the plants and pass them over the fence nearby to a human waiting. When the prime suspect is a primate one can only imagine to what extent the owners went bananas watching that security footage.
And in the name of stealing a small army of animals, an individual in Chicago in 2013 reportedly trained ferrets to steal cell phones and other small, expensive electronics from random people on public buses and even in the streets of the city.
As you can see, many animalshave a little bit of a reputation for stealing:
Or a grumpy cat scolding a racoon for stealing
Still, there’s no monkey’ing around, an army of 65 cats stealing from a whole neighborhood for an extended period of time is definitely something to ferret, er fret over!