THIS is the moment a woman was caught on a doorbell cam callously stuffing a cat into a bin.
It follows a spate of missing moggies in an area of East Birmingham, with heartbroken owners fearing the animals are being captured and sold online by cat-nappers.
Animal charities condemned the “cruel” act, adding theft of beloved pets was “concerning”.
Cops are appealing for information after at least one of the missing pets turned up for sale on the internet, and was reported to police.
Worried Jodie Smith, from Chelmsley Wood, Solihull, said cat Arlo had been missing since the end of January.
A friend of the mum of two later spotted two-year-old feline on the Pets4Homes selling website.
And the plot thickened after an online group of vigilantes investigated and found a number of other missing cats were also listed for sale.
Creepy footage of the catnappers, captured in the middle of the night, shows two hooded figures stalking a cat on a residential street.
The couple were armed with cat treats and milk, a witness said, and can be seen in the footage with carrier bags, a blanket and a large flip-top kitchen bin.
In the video, captured by Charlene Jones' doorbell cam, the pair can be seen searching for cats among the tidy front gardens and hedges on the residential street.
The female figure then ducks down and appears to stroke a passing cat before scooping it up and stuffing it into the bin.
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In later footage the pair can be seen searching for it in the bushes as it streaks past.
Charlene told The Sun: "I didn't notice anything until the dogs started barking, and I looked out the window and caught them in the act.
"It all happened around 20 to four in the morning, at this point she was just putting the cat into the bin. I opened the window and the cat escaped.
"It's a neighbour's cat, who lives a few doors up, I went out and spoke to them and she started reeling off all these charity numbers and claiming she worked for them."
Charlene, 34, explained the pair insisted they were working for a local animal charity helping to catch strays.
When quizzed on why they were using a bin, Charlene was told it was because the moggy was "too big" for a cat carrier.
Heartbreakingly, Charlene's own cat, Benson has been missing for three weeks – with fears he has been stolen and sold by the pair after he also turned up on Pets4Homes.
"I feel angry," Charlene added. "I have done my own research, she has been selling cats for eight months."
Jodie, a carer, whose cat also vanished and reappeared online, said she believed the alleged thief had claimed to work for reputable organisations such as the PSDA.
She added: "It's awful, this is my daughter's cat. My daughter can't go to bed with cuddles from her fur baby. She is absolutely gutted."
She went on: "She's heartbroken. We all are. He is our family cat. He is a cheeky little thing and he is gone.
"There are other families going through the same heartbreak.
"For a lady to have some money in her pocket she is destroying little children."
The mum said she made a call to West Midlands Police and claimed the force had received similar reports.
I was instantly suspicious because the PDSA is a vet charity
And another woman who lives nearby, Amy Buckley, 29, said she has also spotted the same woman acting suspiciously around the area.
Amy told The Sun: "She came to mine around January, claiming she worked for the PDSA and that they'd had a report about a large number of stray cats in the area.
"I was instantly suspicious because the PDSA is a vet charity."
Amy, 29, said the woman this time appeared to be trying to catch the creatures with her bare hands.
The PDSA told The Sun the woman does not, and has not ever, worked or volunteered with them.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said: “We've received a report of cats being stolen from homes in the Carisbrook Avenue area of Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, with one being offered for sale.
“We understand how upsetting it is to lose a pet and anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk, quoting log 518 of 1 March.”
And an RSPCA spokesperson said: "It’s really concerning to hear reports of cats being stolen and we’d urge anyone with information to contact the Police to help their investigation."
The spokesperson also encouraged owners to get their cats microchipped.
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