Black and white moggies Eric and Ernie left their owner red-faced after stealing dozens of items from their neighbours’ homes.
The cats work as a pair and have come home with shoes, slippers, T-shirts, children’s wells and even tried to snatch a Cub Scout uniform but were caught in the act.
The felines were adopted by Margaret and Eddie Boddy who have spent hours each week trying to return the stolen items to their owners.
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They were once caught swiping a Cub Scout uniform but were caught before they could make their getaway
Mrs Boddy, 67, of Braintree, Essex, has revealed the cats’ stealing spree in an effort to reunite the lost items with their owners.
Mrs Boddy, who has labelled the cats as “The Naughty Kittens”, said: “Eric and Ernie bring something in every day.
“It started off that they were stealing from the neighbours but now I think they are going further afield as the items they’re taking are not from the nearby homes.
“They have always been real characters – they are well-known around here and luckily our neighbours are lovely and see the funny side.
“They were once caught swiping a Cub Scout uniform but were caught before they could make their getaway – the boy’s dad saw it as it was about to disappear over the fence.”
Owner Mrs Boddy, a retired practice manager, said Ernie is the more prolific thief and that over Christmas their stealing activity increased.
She said the cats have been prowling the neighbourhood since they were adopted four years ago after being left for dead by the side of a road.
Mrs Boddy revealed the first item they stole was a shuttle cock and she joked she that she hopes the cats are able to bolster her pension.
She said: “I keep showing the cats £5 and £10 notes and telling them ‘bring some of these back for me’ but so far it has yet to work.”
It is believed the cats have stolen more than 100 items and Mr Boddy, 69, has asked people who have had items mysteriously to contact them.