Local Family: Cat Stolen, Held for Ransom

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An unusual crime, possibly playing out in the Dilworth neighborhood. A family’s pet cat, stolen, and held for ransom. The black and white cat’s name is Fifty. The Kete family got a call Friday from someone who said they had the cat, and wanted to know what the reward money was. The family was confused, because Fifty the cat wasn’t missing – they’d just seen him in their yard. They went back and forth with the caller, and they turned on the cat’s GPS tracker.

It wasn’t pinging from where the caller said he had the cat.

The family later found the collar and GPS tracker, but still no cat. Fifty’s owner, Chris Kete, says, “Clearly there was an attempt made to get some money and that turned into a series of decisions that were just very mean, and malicious. And so right now, our priority is can we just get the animal back?”

Fifty’s family describes him as “the Mayor of the neighborhood,” “quite the character,” and as a cat who likes to “take walks” with people.  Kete says Fifty’s disappearance has impacted not just his family, but the whole neighborhood, leaving parents to explain to their young children why their favorite neighborhood cat is nowhere to be seen.

The caller’s first and last name were on his outgoing voice mail message, so Kete got that information during the initial calls back and forth. That name has been turned over to police. A detective was assigned to the case Tuesday. If you’ve seen Fifty, or know who has him, contact WCCB TV, the Kete Family, or the police.