Woman accused of breaking into animal shelter, stealing cats: "She wanted her family back intact"

RAVENNA, Ohio -- It’s a heist that gives “cat burglar” new meaning. A Kent, Ohio woman was arrested after deputies said she broke into the Portage Animal Protective League and stole a cat that wasn’t even hers.

Investigators said 48-year-old Kristeen Pascoe used a "poop scooper" to smash an office window and break into the closed facility.

Surveillance video shows Pascoe moving throughout the facility and opening cages, before leaving with a black cat, Animal Protective League officials said.

A second cat likely escaped through the broken window.

“You immediately start to panic. What’s wrong? Are the animals OK? Are they loose? Are they get hurt? Did someone hurt them, take them?” said Chalan Lowry, Portage APL executive director.

Lowry said APL employees noticed the broken window when they arrived to the facility early Friday morning, March 11th and recognized Pascoe in the surveillance video.

Police had seized six cats wandering near Pascoe’s home in early February.

Lowry said she later claimed those cats as her own, and they were released to her. However, she insisted the APL still had more of her cats, Lowry said, and apparently took matters into her own hands.

“The cat that she left with was not her cat. It's a cat from Mogadore. A really nice, young cat named Samuel, about eight months old, and she left with him. I don’t know what would possess her to take a cat that's not hers, but we're certainly worried about him," Lowry said.

Investigators said they believe Pascoe also attempted to break into the Portage County Water Resources Department, which is adjacent to the APL, because she thought the cats were in that building.

Deputies arrested Pascoe at her Kent home Friday and said she showed no remorse.

“Those cats are very important to her. She refers to them as her family, and she did make the comment that she wanted to get her family back intact,” said Lt. Gregory Johnson, with the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.

Pascoe was arraigned on charges of felony breaking and entering, felony vandalism and theft and was being held in the Portage County Jail on a $15,000 bond.

Deputies said she had been previously arrested for theft and OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence.

The two cats remained missing Wednesday, March 16th.