Thursday, August 17, 2006

Behind the Bertnapping

Here's the follow up on the crime story snippet from the other day. As some locals might have guessed, the story's about last week's "Bertnapping." A couple from Connecticut happened to see Bert the cat — a well known denizen of the village — standing by the side of the road in the rain, without his collar on. They took him into their car, thinking he was a stray. Oops.

You can read about the harrowing tale in this week's Stowe Reporter. I thought it would be interesting, though, to include more from Elizabeth Rankin's police report about the case. Here's a good chunk of it:

Gregory Poulin (DOB 1-29-77) called saying he witnessed Carolyn Andrews' cat, Bert, be taken off the side of the crosswalk across from Stafford's General Store on Main Street last night between 1930 and 2000 hours. He said a dark gray or silver wagon or small SUV, like a Honda CRV, was parked on the side of the road. The front seat passenger, who he described as an older man, got out and picked up the cat and then the car drove away. Poulin said he ran after the man to tell him the cat was not a stray but the car drove off toward Morrisville.

Poulin was unable to get a license plate number or state, saying it was right before the storm last night and it was already dark. He also mentioned that the cat did not seem to be moving or struggling but it was dark, he wasn't sure if they had hit Bert or not and that was why they took him. I asked Poulin if he could see the driver or could describe the man, but said it happened so fast that he wasn't sure. He had told Andrews about the incident and she left him a note this morning to call the police.

Bert and his brother, Ernie, are well known cats on Main Street, are very friendly, and cross the street at the crosswalk. Both normally wear collars with name tags but at the time Bert was not.

... At 1640 hours I went into the Lackey's General Store on Main Street and found Lee (DOB 2-16-33) and Walter (6-28-32) Dietzer talking with the clerk about Bert. The couple had seen Bert on the side of the road during the rain storm last night and picked him up, concerned for his welfare. They thought he was a stray since he did not have a collar but realized that he must of been owned by someone since he was so fat. They came back to the General Store this afternoon to ask about the owner and that is when I got to talk with them. Bert did have a lipstick stain on his left shoulder but seemed very well cared for. The clerk at the General Store offered to hold Bert until Andrews came home from work. The clerk and I both left messages for her on her voice mail.

Cased closed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to say that if a person noted that the cat was being taken by someone that they would take down a license plate number. I happened to be in the car and they were my grandparents and we would have been more than happy to return the cat right away. Why the police couldn't catch them in their SUV was surprising to me when I found out Poulin saw us.

8/26/2006 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Scott Monroe said...


I think normally that might have been the case. My understanding is that because it was raining at the time it was tough to see the license plate number, so all they had was a rough description of a car.

8/27/2006 10:44:00 AM  

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