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The cats are out of the bag

Missing Scottish folds weren't stolen; they were found behind cash register after three days.

September 11, 2013|By Jeremiah Dobruck
  • Shawna Masters, a manager at Russo's Pet Experience, holds two 4-month-old Scottish Folds, who went missing Saturday and were found behind the cash register Tuesday. The cat on the left is worth $1,800 and the cat on the right is worth $1,500.
Shawna Masters, a manager at Russo's Pet Experience,… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

It turns out there was no cat burglar at Russo's Pet Experience.

For a few days, employees at the Fashion Island store thought someone had stolen two felines worth more than $3,000.

But the two Scottish folds, known for their ears that often bend — or fold — forward, had simply slipped out of their enclosure to hide out elsewhere in the building.

The cats were for sale at Russo's, one for $1,500 and the other for $1,800, before an employee noticed they were missing Sunday morning.

The two were last seen the day before, according to Newport Beach police, who showed up to take a report.

Police and store employees didn't know if the cats were nabbed during business hours or after closing, and the situation was made more curious because there was no sign of forced entry, Newport police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said.

But detectives can be called off the case now that the details have unfolded. Catastrophe was averted when an employee found the felines hiding behind the cash register Tuesday, said Shawna Masters, a store manager.

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She wasn't present when the runaways were found, she said, but it was a relief to discover they were safe.

The cats will be on display at Russo's if people want to see — or buy — them.

"[People] can come down and look at them if they want to," Masters said.

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