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February 22, 2013

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2 women avoid jail in theft of cafe's cat

TWO women who stole an expensive fold-ear cat from the Miao Wu Club cat cafe in Xujiahui were exempted from criminal punishment after they returned the cat and paid 4,000 yuan (US$641) to the cafe's owner, the Xuhui District People's court ruled yesterday.

Prosecutors said the two women, identified as Xiao Xin and Liu Jing, aged 30 and 26, were having coffee and playing with a white fold-ear cat in April at a three-story cafe on Tianping Road that is famous for its cats and attracts many animal lovers.

Xiao told the court that she liked the cat so much that it suddenly occurred to her to take the cat home. Xiao dared Liu to put the cat into her bag, and said she would take it home. The cat kept quiet and they absconded with it, the court heard.

Prosecutors said the cafe owner noticed the cat missing at night and called police. Xiao and Liu were recorded by the surveillance camera in the cafe and were found by police the next day.

Xiao said they took the stolen cat to a pet store for grooming and defleaing and took it home. Liu said she tried to persuade Xiao to return it but Xiao didn't agree. The cat was worth 3,858 yuan, the court heard.

Xiao and Liu pleaded guilty. Though they still must go through the judicial process, the court released them since they confessed, returned the cat immediately and were forgiven by the cat owner.

Those who steal cash or items of more than 2,000 yuan can be charged criminally with theft.


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