A few days ago, an 83-year old woman from Ohio was arrested on suspicion of raising cats to steal from her neighbors. Yes, we know how silly it sounds, but it’s true! Ruth Gregson, a Columbus resident, was actually your friendly neighborhood granny until the real truth was revealed.
After a series of jewelry disappearances from the neighborhood, Gregson’s neighbors alarmed the police. The thefts were seemingly not related until several victims reported being visited by Ruth’s cats just before items from their homes disappeared. In the beginning, even the police couldn’t believe that Gregson is such a criminal mastermind. As it turned out, she was even as cunning as it gets.
A surveillance operation revealed everything to the police. Just like Fagin in Oliver Twist, Ruth Gregson used others to do her dirty work. Instead of children, however, she used her trusty cats. After searching her home, the police found 65 adults cats and 17 kittens along with jewelry worth half a million!
It gets even better. Ruth Gregson actually trained the cats for the thefts, feeding them only when they would finish their jobs. The animals eventually learned how to steal to survive, but were found to be quite malnourished. All the cats were taken to Columbus Humane Society where they’re recovering well.
This is the first case of using cats to steal valuable items, but not the first case that involves animals. In 2009, a monkey was caught red-handed stealing equipment worth hundreds of dollars from a Texas nursery home. The police hypothesized that the monkey was trained to do that, yet no one was ever caught. It was either trained or monkeys have evolved further than we’ve been led to believe.
A Chicago man was jailed in 2013 for training ferrets to steal money from people on the street. However, we’ve yet to see a criminal mastermind such as Gregson. Don’t forget the fact that the woman is 83 years old and had an army of cats at her disposal, which is terrifying and kind of admirable at the same time.