Library burglar turns out to be curious cat

Cat burglar caught on tape

CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico library was living out its own mystery novel this week.

Librarians were trying to track down who was setting off alarms and rummaging through their stuff night after night.

For three nights in a row, the alarm at the Clovis-Carver Public Library kept going off. Workers thought a person was triggering the alarm system’s motion detector.

Come to find out, the intruder wasn’t a person at all.

“I thought, ‘There’s no way. There’s no way we could have a cat in this building,’ ” said library director Margaret Hinchee.

With one glance at the security video, those doubts were soon changed.

“He’s just a sly little sucker,” said Hinchee.

Employees say a curious cat was living at the library for nearly a week, going completely unnoticed.

“Just to think that one day you could pull a book off a shelf and a cat jumps out at somebody,” said library employee Mary Mattiomoe.

Library officials say they searched the building for days hoping to find some clue of where the animal was hiding.

“We found places in our potted plants where he had displaced the dirt,” said Hinchee. “We found a couple plants he had probably sprayed the leaves.”

Even with all that evidence, employees still couldn’t find the sneaky guy. It wasn’t until Tuesday night, four days after the first alarm went off, they caught that cat.

“We saw this sly cat walking by,” said Hinchee. “We’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, there he is, there he is.’ “

Librarians put salmon in a trap and the surveillance video shows the black cat take the bait. Some workers say they’re sad the suspense is over, but others say it’s made for a good story.

“You think we only checked out books. You have no idea the stuff that goes on at the Clovis-Carver Public Library,” said Hinchee.

Library officials still aren’t sure how the cat got into the building or where it was hiding. They say one of the employees is now caring for the animal at home.