Watch moment cat burglar kidnaps Islington Nisa’s pet tabby Bella
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A shop in the heart of Islington has launched a desperate appeal for help after a crook kidnapped its cat.
Shopkeepers at Nisa Local, just across from Angel station in St John Street, are “devastated” after a man wearing a Union Jack beanie hat swooped on their pet at about 2pm last Wednesday.
The tabby, named Bella, has been at the family-run shop for 10 months and is hugely popular with customers. CCTV footage shows the man entering, picking her up, holding her to his chest and then riding off unsteadily on a bicycle.
The shop has launched a “find Bella” campaign, saying: “We love her and want her back.”
Haseeb Kashmiri, 26, who runs the shop with his two brothers, told the Gazette: “I came into the store and she wasn’t there, but I didn’t think anything of it as I just assumed she was sleeping.
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“Then she still didn’t turn up and I went downstairs calling her name. When she didn’t respond, I knew she had been taken and the CCTV confirmed it.”
He continued: “We are devastated, and baffled. When you come into a shop to steal something, you take a bar of chocolate or a bottle of Lucozade. You don’t steal a cat. What next?
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“Everyone knows she was part of this shop. The whole of Angel knows. People would come into the shop to see her. One customer even came from Archway.
“She would hang out on her perch at the front of the shop. She would listen to you all the time. Call her name and she would come straight to you.”
Asked what motive the kidnapper may have had, Haseeb added: “I think the guy wanted to sell her. You look at him in the CCTV footage and I don’t think he’s the type to look after a cat.”
The shop is offering a reward for Bella’s return, with “no questions asked”. Anyone with information can call the Gazette news desk to be put in touch with Haseeb: 020 7433 0121.