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A man who allegedly swiped a beloved kitten from a Bronx bodega has returned the feline and turned himself in to police
The cat-napper, wearing a Cookie Monster sweatshirt, was caught on surveillance video holding the cat before he walks out of the store
Authorities said the thief fled the scene in a red Ford Explorer
A man in a Cookie Monster shirt who swiped a beloved kitten from a Bronx bodega has returned the feline and turned himself in to police.
Stanley Duran, 29, has been charged with petit larceny in connection with the theft, police said.
Ismael Diaz, owner of Ismael’s Gourmet Deli in Kingsbridge, said the man walked in, picked up the corner store kitten, named Luna, left a dollar on the counter and walked out — and the crime was all caught on camera.
His 10-year-old son Jonathan was distraught after the kitten was stolen, he told News 4.
“My son is autistic, so he’s having to adapt to the fact that somebody stole his cat,” Diaz said before the kitten was returned. “He’s very upset and very sad. To him, that’s his life.”
On Wednesday, Jonathan and Luna had a joyous reunion.
"I'm glad we got the cat back," Jonathan said. "I'm so happy about it."
Duran on Wednesday called the theft a misunderstanding and apologized to the bodega owners.
"As soon as people told me it was your son's cat, I felt bad," he told the family in an exchange caught on video. "My mom called me and started barking at me."
"I'm not like that. I love animals," he added. "I'm not that kind of person."
The Diaz family said they were happy to be reunited with Luna and didn't want to press charges, but Duran was nevertheless charged with misdemeanor petit larceny.
Surveillance video from the bodega showed Duran, clad in the blue Cookie Monster sweatshirt, holding two-month-old Luna in his arms Saturday morning. The video then showed him walk right past an employee and leave the store with the cat.