MESA, AZ (KPNX) - A man has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after surveillance video caught him taking a cat from a Mesa neighborhood that was later found dead and mutilated, according to Mesa Police Department.
Police say this man is responsible for torturing dozens of cats in mesa. He was caught on a home security camera taking the family pet last month.
In that video you see a subject stop in the roadway in front of the residence get out of his car and remove a cat that was sitting on top of our victim's car 00:29:00 putting it in his car and driving off with it. The video was taken on august 8th and cats continued to go missing for weeks.
Neighborhood watch coordinator Ben Smith found several of them dead near his home.
"It looked like it had been submerged in some sort of oil and drowned and tortured."
Mark Phipps' cat Oreo is among the missing
"I have picture of him and my other cat and my baby all laying on the receiving blankets together."
Mark and his children hold out hope one day Oreo will return home.
We put together this bench under the tree for him so if he got to come home he would have some shade.
For Mark, Ben and their neighbors, the 900 block of West Natal became a 24-7 watch zone.
"This is our house we don't play that, you bring it here we'll bring it back to you."
Their diligence payed off Monday night when Ben spotted the suspect and his vehicle, he immediately gave chase.
"Once we got to the freeway I pulled out my camera phone and started taking pictures."
With a license plate number and a face, the evidence was turned over to police who then visited the suspect's home. Neighbors there had been missing their pets too.
Trish Ferguson says her cat, the one she rescued from the street 10 months ago and nursed back to health hasn't been seen since April. She lives only feet from the suspects home
"I don't want to think about her being hurt like that."
Cops say they found incriminating evidence outside the house the suspect shares with his elderly parents including a strong odor of dead animals in his car.
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