Suspected cat thief in Madison tackled by customer

MADISON (WKOW) -- A man suspected of trying to steal a cat from a pet store Sunday was tackled by a customer just outside the store.

Conor L. Braverman, 34, Madison, faces charges of felony theft and disorderly conduct.

Police say Braverman was at PetSmart, 8210 Plaza Dr. on Sunday morning, but the cat he had hoped to adopt already had been sold, according to an employee.

Braverman returned in the afternoon, when police say an employee and a couple of shoppers watched as he knelt down next the cat's cage and using something hidden in his hand, broke the lock on the cage.

Braverman then began wrestling with the cat, trying to get it into a sack. An employee yelled out: "What are you doing?" according to a police incident report.

At that point, police say Braverman grabbed the cat and ran for the door when an employee tripped him, momentarily bringing him to his knees. 

At that point, a volunteer from the Jefferson County Humane Society – who was working a booth inside the store – shouted out, "he's stealing a cat!"

A shopper in the checkout line chased Braverman out the door and threw him to the ground while another person recovered the cat.

When police arrived, there were four men holding him down.

"I didn't take the cat out. It walked out on its own free will," police say Braverman said on the way to jail.

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