A MISSING cat has been lured into the arms of strangers before being taken, dramatic CCTV footage has revealed.
Mr Cheeky, who lives with Ollie Wilson and Laura King in Brunswick Street East, Hove, has been missing for more than a week and the couple had all but given up on finding new leads as to his whereabouts.
But video footage shot by a neighbour’s security camera shows he was deliberately cat-napped by what looks like a young couple police are now trying to identify.
Ginger tom Mr Cheeky had been part of the family for three years after Ollie and Laura took him in from Lost Cats in Brighton.
He popped out for a midnight stroll on Sunday, December 4, when a pair of strangers took the moggie from his usual hunting ground.
Ollie Wilson told The Argus: “Mr Cheeky left the house through the catflap and was sitting in our small courtyard towards Brunswick Street East.
“A man approached Mr Cheeky [pictured below], bending down to stroke him, then a woman appeared, bent down around four feet from the man and enticed the cat to her.”
The man can be seen to be in his mid-to-late 20s, white, around 5ft 8in tall, of stocky build, with short brown hair, shaved at the sides, wearing a black jacket, light jeans or chinos, and deck shoes.
The woman looks to be around 5ft 6in tall, wearing a long padded black coat with a fur-lined hood, knee-length dark dress and black low-cut ankle boots with light patterned leggings or similar and carrying a supermarket plastic bag.
The video shows the upsetting moment when the man then approached Mr Cheeky from behind and grabbed him with both hands.
It also shows how the man took the cat in his arms before the pair walk along Brunswick Street East and turn the corner, to the left, in the direction of Waterloo Street and the seafront.
Mr Cheeky was wearing a yellow collar and he has a chipped upper right tooth. Anyone with information should email Mr Wilson at email@example.com.
Investigating Officer Zoe Ayres said: "Mr Cheeky is micro-chipped and is missed dearly by his owners. We are appealing to anyone who might recognise the man or the woman or have information as to the location of his whereabouts.
"I would also like to appeal to the people in the video as our main priority is to get Mr Cheeky back safe with his owners. He is probably very distressed being away from his normal surroundings and it is obviously very upsetting for his owners.”
Anyone with information should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 quoting reference number 735 of 11/12.