The five newborn kittens that were stolen during a break-in at an Abbotsford home early Tuesday morning have all been turned in, and the family has gained another five.
Mom Janet West and her family were notified that a local resident had found five kittens abandoned on their property.
Those kittens turned out not to be the ones stolen from the West family, but they took them in temporarily so that their adult kitten, Mittens, could nurse them while her 10-day-old babies were still missing.
On Wednesday afternoon, the family was notified that one kitten had been turned in to the SPCA by a man who had arrived in a cab.
West’s daughter Natalie picked up the kitten from the Abbotsford SPCA and brought it home.
While they were looking over Mittens and her new brood, there was a knock on the door.
West’s son Jacques answered the door, and it was an Abbotsford Police officer holding a basket filled with the other four of Mittens’ missing babies.
It’s not yet clear where the kittens were found but Natalie and Jacques described on a live Instagram video that the kittens were dirty and smelled like smoke.
They said on the video that they will likely keep the additional kittens for several more weeks.
Mittens, who was kittenless for about 36 hours, is now the mom to a litter of 10.
Abbotsford Police Sgt. Judy Bird said investigators received an “overwhelming number” of tips and information about the stolen kittens. She said the four that were not turned into the SPCA were tracked down and recovered by Const. Froese and the crime reduction unit.
Bird said the incident is still under investigation, and “details are limited” at this time.
The kittens were taken at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, when West, her daughter and her 12-year-old son were all sleeping in their home near Mill Lake.
The thief, who entered their home through a side door that had inadvertently been left unlocked, also stole numerous other items, including computers, clothes, shoes, passports and an Apple TV.
It was believed that the cats were stolen so that the thief could attempt to sell them online or in public.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 20s. He is tall with a slim build and surveillance video shows him wearing a light-coloured hoodie and dark pants.