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The crooked cat was caught in the act, stealing clothes from inside a Clyde home, after entering through an open window.
Sergeant Derek Ealson said identifying the culprit solved a mystery, after a homeowner reported several thefts earlier this week of small items of clothing from inside her home. The items were taken while she was sleeping.
A boot was found half-way down the home's driveway, which indicated an animal - a cat or dog- might be to blame, he said.
''Since then, the woman has seen a white cat come into her house and take some articles from her pile of folded washing, before leaving the property.''
The woman ''did some great detective work'', knocking on the doors of neighbouring houses, and discovered the cat's owners, he said.
''It appears they were up here on holiday from Southland with their cat. There were items of clothing hidden around their section outside, where the cat had been depositing stuff.''
The animal was old and deaf and appeared to have ''gone a bit wild'' while on holiday.
Sgt Ealson said the woman had recovered all her items of clothing. Anyone else missing clothing or footwear could contact the Alexandra police, who would put them in touch with the cat's owners, he said.