An image from surveillance video showing the kitten in the suspect's bag. (MSPCA)
METHUEN (WBZ-AM) -- Methuen Police and the MSPCA are searching for a tiny kitten they say was stolen from the MSPCA's Nevins Farm facility Thursday afternoon.
MSPCA's Rob Halpin told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz that the female suspect entered the adoption center with an accomplice, a man around 50 years old.
"They had engaged with one of our volunteers about adopting a kitten, only to decide they didn't want to," he said. "And when the volunteer turned around to help other visitors to the adoption center, they made off with this kitten by placing the kitten in her bag and exiting the adoption center."
Surveillance footage shows the woman walking out of the adoption center with a handbag hanging over her left arm--then out comes the little head of two-month-old Caramel, peeking out of the bag's opening.
Haplin said the newly-spayed kitten was living in a foster home and had recently come to the adoption center.
"She's a Torby cat, so she's primarily brown with some orange," Halpin said. "She's quite small, she's under five pounds."
The suspects left with the kitty in what appears to be a light-colored Ford pickup truck.
View surveillance photos of the suspects:
Halpin said it appeared the suspect was familiar with the inner layout of the adoption center. But, he said, Caramel did make an escape attempt.
"It's very possible Caramel sensed that something was not quite right, and opted to make a bid for freedom herself--because she was caught on camera leaping out of the bag once this couple was outside, only to be scooped back up by this woman," he said.
He has a message for the people who took Caramel.
"If we could speak directly to the person who stole Caramel, we'd say, look: at this point, all we're looking for is the safe return of this kitten, so no questions asked, bring her back to our adoption center in Methuen, please, so we can get her into a more appropriate home," he said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz reports