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‘I never meant to be a bad guy,’ says Minnesota delivery driver charged with stealing cat

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A man has been charged with theft and animal abandonment after stealing this cat from a residence in Carver County, Minn., in October 2019. The owner is offering a reward for the cat’s return. Courtesy of Carver County Sheriff’s Office
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CARVER COUNTY, Minn. — A Minnesota woman is offering a $2,000 reward for the return of her 12-year-old cat Dot, who police say was stolen from her home by a delivery driver.

According to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, Byron Vieau, 23, confessed to taking the cat Oct. 10 after making a delivery to a residence along County Road 127. Carver County is located just southwest of the Twin Cities.

He has been charged with misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor animal abandonment, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office Jan. 2.

Vieau said he had a change of heart after taking the cat, but instead of returning it he dropped it off “somewhere outside Watertown” in Minnesota.

The cat’s owner, Heidi Dalbec, has documented the ongoing search for Dot on her Facebook page .

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When she noticed Dot was missing, she checked her surveillance video where she saw Vieau playing with Dot just before he drove away. She posted the video online.

Dalbec said she confronted Vieau twice and both times he denied taking her cat. But then, she said, on Dec. 11 she received a confession letter from him in which he wrote, “I unfortunately made a poor judgment decision to take your cat.”

He said he stole the cat because he wanted to have a pet of his own, but as he drove away, he began to feel guilty and decided to let it out of the van.

“I never hurt it and never meant to cause this much pain,” he said. “I never meant to be a bad guy. … I’m sorry for doing what I did.”

Dalbec is still searching for her cat, which she said was dumped near B’s on the River restaurant in Watertown. The cat is microchipped and weighed 14 pounds at the time it was taken.

“Dot is a VERY VERY friendly/outgoing feline,” she posted. “He is greatly missed.”

Anyone with information should contact the sheriff’s office at 952-361-1212.

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