Suspected Cat-napper on the Prowl

Avatar BCR | May 4, 2007 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Suspected Cat-napper on the Prowl


William Bobbett is wanted for stealing a lynx from an exotic animal farm in Columbia County. After this photograph was taken he got tattoos of teardrops under his eyes.


Thursday, May 3, 6:06 p.m.

By Sarah Buynovsky


The case of a missing lynx has turned into a manhunt. The animal was stolen from a business in Columbia County last month. The cat has since been recovered but the men who stole the animal and attacked the owner are still on the loose.


State police said William Bobbett of Kingston and two others stole a lynx from an exotic animal business last month in Columbia County. Troopers call it a bizarre case of a man who would do anything to get the animal.


State police said Bobbet and the two men went to Exotic Critters in Columbia County and stole a pregnant lynx at gunpoint. Troopers said Bobbett forced the owner to take $2,000.


"(He said) ‘we’ve got the pregnant female. We’ve got what we want, let’s go.’  Before he left, he made me take a pocket full of money," said Ronald Derr, owner of Exotic Critters. He added Bobbett first offered to pay $10,000 for a lynx.


Derr said he refused because Bobbett did not have the proper permit.  That’s why, Derr said, Bobbett stole the cat.  "He wanted a cat and he was going to do what it took to get that cat," the owner added.


Bobbett and his wife won an $11 million malpractice settlement from Mercy Hospital two years ago after their young son died.


Steve Bucholtz runs a garage across the street from Bobbett’s Kingston home.  He was surprised to see police officers swarm the place recently.


"Next thing you know you see guys coming out with shotguns and all that and the game commission you know. I just wondered why the game commission officers were there at the house," Bucholtz said.


The lynx was found last month in a tree in Plymouth. It was returned to Derr, but he said the animal miscarried its kittens. He said the stress of the whole ordeal was too much for the cat and him.


"It’s hard for me to believe that someone would jeopardize their freedom for a cat. Who would do something like that?" Derr asked.


Bobbett has been in trouble with the law before on drug charges. State police said he has new teardrop tattoos under his eyes.


Anyone with information is asked to call the nearest state police barracks.


For the cats,


Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457


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