New app complicates missing cat case in Plymouth, Minn.

A missing cat in Plymouth, Minnesota, is shedding light on a frequent frustration for law enforcement. 

Certain phone apps are getting in the way of police trying to do their jobs. 

Distinguishable by her Calico color, big ears and short fur, Cali is a Cornish Rex cat. Her owner hasn't been able to reunite the cat with her sibling since she slipped out of her apartment last Thursday. The cat is micro-chipped and was wearing a break-away collar at the time. 

“She is just a sweet cat, just fun-loving,” said Adrianne Aron, the owner. “They are my family, and it breaks my heart she’s gone.”
After putting up flyers around her neighborhood, Aron received this text message Monday night: “Is this the right number about the lost cat?”

“And I said ‘yes, did you find her? I can leave work to come get her,’” Aron said. 

The response was “I have her. I’m not giving her back because you aren’t responsible enough to have a collar. I just want to let you know she is safe and with a better family. My little princess loves it here.”

“I was shaking,” Aron said.  

After receiving that text message, Adrian went to the Plymouth Police Department. The detective working the case said it came from a phone app they are very familiar with because it’s already complicating other investigations. 

Text Now is one of several apps allowing users to send messages anonymously. Detectives say they they've seen the apps be useful at times - for example, when people are talking with strangers on Craigslist. 

But the apps are often to blame for phone scams, such as those that target the elderly or personal information.

In the case of the missing cat, it would take months for police to find out whether those texts came from someone who truly captured Cali or someone pulling a prank.

“You want to think people wouldn’t think it’s funny to do something like that, [but] I don’t know…that’s the worst part about it,” Aron said. 

Plymouth police said if the words in that text message are true and someone has taken the cat, they could be charged with theft.