Man allegedly demands $150 for safe return of missing cat

Police said the man asked for a reward after being told he couldn’t keep the cat.

by Sara Schweid

A missing cat was ransomed by an unknown man Thursday, according to police reports.

Lt. Thomas Rice, commander of 5th Precinct investigations, said Elizabeth Nicholas’ cat had gone missing and she put up fliers around her south Minneapolis neighborhood.

Nicholas said she received a phone call from a man who said he had the cat, and wanted to keep it.

“I told him that wasn’t an option,” Nicholas said.

The man asked if a reward was being offered, and when he was told there was no reward, he demanded $150 to return the cat, she said.

Police are not certain whether the man actually had the cat; Rice said he might have simply seen the flier and called to try to get money.

“We really don’t have anything to work with as far as where he was calling from,” Rice said. “We’ve got a first name and a general location, so it’s not the kind of thing we’d be able to really follow up on.”

The case is inactive pending further information.

Student charged with marijuana possession
A University student was charged with possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle Thursday.

While on patrol shortly after 1 a.m., officers saw an occupied car parked in the Badger Parking Lot on Huron Boulevard Southeast, according to the police report.

Steve Johnson, deputy chief of police for the University, said officers thought the car looked suspicious because two people were sitting in the car with the headlights off, so officers made a U-turn to investigate.

“As the squad made the U-turn and came into the lot, the vehicle suddenly turned its headlights on and started to pull away,” Johnson said.

The officers stopped the car and asked the occupants why they attempted to leave when they saw the squad car, Johnson said.

The officers could smell marijuana, Johnson said, and they found a bag containing 11 grams of marijuana in the car. According to Johnson, one of the occupants told officers the marijuana was his, and then was cited.

Port-a-potty tossed out
On June 26, University Parking Services reported a break-in at a West Bank construction site.

A parking lot being constructed on 21st Avenue South and Fifth Street South is surrounded by a silt landscaping fence, which is used to hold back dirt, Johnson said.

The fence was cut more than 100 times, resulting in over $5,000 worth of damage, Johnson said.

After cutting the fence, the suspects threw a port-a-potty into the street, according to the police report.

Johnson called the crime “mindless vandalism.” He said the case remains under investigation.