Unemployed man stole so he could feed 120 cats

December 12, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

OSAKA--A man obsessed with cats burgled dozens of homes to buy food for his feline “friends,” all 120 of them.

“It was the happiest moment when I rubbed my cheek against a cat,” police quoted Mamoru Demizu as saying after his arrest in September in a burglary case. Police said he admitted his guilt.

Demizu, who is 48 and jobless, is suspected of breaking into 32 homes to steal cash and valuables worth 19.2 million yen ($187,000), sources said, adding that his crime spree began in September 2012.

His arrest and indictment were announced Dec. 11.

Demizu said he recently spent 25,000 yen a day to feed the cats. He kept 20 at his home in Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, and in rental storage space.

In addition, he fed strays, numbering around 100, in parks and parking lots. Those activities took him to 10 locations each day.

Demizu distributed fish, chicken and other morsels, making the rounds in a car between midnight and 4 a.m., police said.

Demizu first kept cats in 1993 and began giving leftover food to strays in 2010. He lost his job in 2011 but continued to feed cats with money from a woman he lived with.

“The number of cats I fed gradually increased, and I ran short of cash,” he told police.

Demizu repeatedly broke into homes in Izumi during the day, through unlocked windows or by finding keys hidden outside, according to police.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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A suspect in a string of burglaries found felines irresistible. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

A suspect in a string of burglaries found felines irresistible. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • A suspect in a string of burglaries found felines irresistible. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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