• KIRO 7 viewer helps family find cats that were inside SUV stolen from Tacoma restaurant

    By: Michael Spears

    Updated:

    A Kitsap County family said a KIRO 7 viewer pointed them to the neighborhood where they found their two missing cats, that had been in carriers inside their SUV that was stolen from a Tacoma restaurant, as they stopped for a bite to eat on the way out of town last weekend.

    We first told you about the family’s desperate search for the cats this week.

    Richelle Sherwood said their cat Gilbert had been with the family 14 years and they had taken in the second cat, Ajzha, as a stray.

    The family said a man contacted them after seeing KIRO 7’s report. He told them he’d seen animal carriers that were apparently dumped near South 66th Street and Madison Street in Tacoma Sunday, the family said.

    Tacoma police had previously confirmed the family’s stolen SUV, which had been spotted at a motel in Kent, was recovered in Tacoma without the cats inside.

    Sherwood said, once in the neighborhood, she met another neighbor who had also seen the carriers. That neighbor posted on social media and said strangers replied and offered to help in the search.

    The family, along with the help of people they’d just met, said they searched the area for several hours for the cats and were able to find Gilbert Tuesday evening, several days after thieves took off with him. Ajzha was found the next day.

    Tacoma police said the Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force is now working the case. The task force released pictures to KIRO 7 Thursday of four persons of interest they’re working to identify.

    Four persons of interest in the Tacoma case.
    Four persons of interest in the Tacoma case.

    A Sergeant said the pictures were from surveillance video at the Kent motel where police previously confirmed the stolen SUV had been spotted. 

    Surveillance video obtained by KIRO 7 from Azteca Mexican Restaurant, where the family had been eating last Friday around 7 p.m. when the SUV was stolen, showed a man pull up in a Chevy Impala and first break the rear window of the SUV before returning to steal the vehicle. 

    Sherwood said electronics and financial documents that were packed for their weekend trip were also stolen from the SUV.

    Tips regarding the identities of the persons of interest can be submitted to AutoTheftTips@wsp.wa.gov or 253-329-2442.


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