| Crime |

Scott Graham Accused of Mutilating Neighbor's Cat, Tells Cops He "Played" With 30 to 40 Cats

UPDATE: Don't worry, everyone, Graham says the cats were sneaking into his car and running a fight club.

If you're wondering who would steal their neighbor's cat and smash it up behind a strip mall -- 39-year-old Scott Graham would, according to Mesa police.

Once he was caught in the act lifting another neighbor's cat, police say he tossed that one out of his window and drove off.

The Arizona Humane Society got involved in this one after 12 cats went missing and three turned up dead, although Graham, who became the suspect in the cat disappearances, eventually told police that he just "played" with the cats -- 30 to 40 of them.

According to the cops, Graham was caught on a video-surveillance camera taking a cat from the top of the cat-owner's car near Guadalupe Road and Alma School Road about a month ago.

That cat was found a few days later, dead and mutilated behind a nearby strip mall. Another mutilated cat was found there too.

A couple weeks ago, a neighbor saw the car driving through the neighborhood -- the same car Graham was driving when he was caught on video lifting the cat, police say.

That neighbor tried to follow Graham's car on his bicycle, but Graham obviously got away, and the neighbor saw him chuck another cat out of his window, according to police.

Last night, the neighbor saw Graham's car again, but the neighbor was driving a car this time, and was able to get Graham's license plate number.

Police found that Graham lived with relatives in the neighborhood, and asked him about the cat situation.

According to the cops, Graham admitted to taking between 30 and 40 cats from the area -- but he claimed he'd never hurt any of them.

Graham's story was that he "played" with the 30 to 40 cats, then released them in a different area. Police say that's not quite what happened, adding that there was evidence in Graham's car and house that led to his arrest on an animal-abuse charge.

UPDATE: Police say clothing, gloves, and car floor "covered" in cat hair were found in Graham's garage. Cops are trying to link him to the rest of the missing cats in the neighborhood.

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