CA cat thief 'purr-loins' hundreds of treasures

June 20, 2011 - 4:58 AM

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — A prolific cat burglar has stolen hundreds of precious possessions from homes near San Francisco.

But police are staying off the case — the burglar really is a cat.

Dusty, a 5-year-old feline from San Mateo, has taken hundreds of items during his nearly nightly heists.

Owner Jean Chu tells the San Francisco Chronicle he has pilfered gloves, towels, shoes and more since she adopted him from the Humane Society.

Dusty has a special love for swimsuits. Neighbor Kelly McLellan says he stole her bikini — on two separate trips. She said he appeared focused on keeping the ensemble.

Experts say Dusty's predatory instincts have gone astray, leaving him hunting for people's stuff.

The cat's thieving has made him a minor celebrity.