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"Klepto Cat" raiding California homes
Simi Valley, California (AP)

A cat burglar's booty is being hoarded in a Ventura County home.

A marauding feline named Midnight - now dubbed Klepto Cat - has been sneaking off in the dark to raid neighbour's homes, garages, sheds and patios, bringing home shoes, hats, shirts, socks and even a wrapped Christmas present.

It's stressful for pet owners Richard and Sue Boyd.

"We get so embarrassed by this," Sue Boyd said. "We wake up in the morning and go out and there's stuff under the truck. The cat leaves things all over. We don't want these things."

"He's a klepto cat," her husband said.

Each day, Midnight's owners leave a bag with the purloined goods hanging from their mailbox so neighbours can reclaim missing items.

It is unclear why Midnight prefers wearables.

Gary Sampson, an Indianapolis-based veterinarian who specializes in cat behaviour, said the 13-year-old cat is probably drawn to body odours.

"He's obviously a hunter," Sampson said. "He's doing this at night. This is when they can get prey. It's just an extension of that."

Police Sgt. Paul Fitzpatrick said there isn't anything the police could do about Midnight's crimes, except refer the complaint to animal control.

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