A heartless crook stole a car from a woman feeding stray cats in Queens, police said Wednesday.
Charlotte Conley was doing her nightly rounds dropping off food for a colony of strays in front of PS 70 in Astoria as part of the “Kitty Crew” on Jan. 16, when her 1999 Volvo sedan was snatched, cops said.
She said she left her car running as she was putting down a bag of cat food because she didn’t want to risk the old car sputtering out while she was out in the freezing cold.
“It was bone-chilling cold,” Conley, who runs the non-profit Astoria Cat Rescue, said. “It was so cold and windy, there was no one on the street”
As she was doling out the food, the man jumped in front of her, got into her car and drove off.
“He jumped in right in front of me!” she exclaimed. “I was running behind him [in the car] and I just about got to the car when the light changed and he sped off. I was in the middle of the street, and I waved down the first car there” and called 911.
She believes the man had seen her do her rounds before and had been waiting for the opportunity to rob her.
“It was very strange. Nobody was in the street and I thought ‘Why is this guy standing here in the school yard [at 8 p.m.]?’” she said.
Conley and the cops drove around the neighborhood trying to locate the crook and missing phone using Find My iPhone when they spotted the car only a few blocks away from PS 70, on Broadway and 42nd Street.
“He just left it,” Conley said of the car, but took her wallet containing her credit cards, which he used to buy some booze from a nearby liquor store.
Now Conley has become a cautious cat when making her rounds to feed the 200 cats.
“Every time I go, I look behind me every time, and I never go out without a volunteer,” she said.
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