A series on bunny burglaries in a western Swedish town has left pet owners blaming the media for encouraging copycat kidnappings.
As many as nine rabbits disappeared from garden hutches in Säffle in a week over the New Year period, while another two were reported missing last weekend.
“It’s been 14 days now, and I still hope to see Molly again,” Diana Strömsmoen, whose long-eared friend was among the first to go missing, told The Local. “But I don’t think I ever will.”
“We went out in the snow with torches to feed her, but she wasn’t there,” she said. “The whole family was upset and I put up pictures in the local supermarkets and flyers in the neighbours’ letterboxes. It wasn’t long before I got a response, but they weren’t ringing about Molly – the neighbours had lost one too!”
Police admit that they are scratching their heads over the rabbit snatching, but say they are keeping their ears to the ground. “It’s impossible to solve when we don’t have anything to go on,” Hasse Ericson of the Säffle police told the Aftonbladet.
The local media reported the story in the hope of increasing pet-owner vigilance and deterring the thieves, but many believe the publicity may have encouraged copycat kidnappings. Police are warning residents to secure hutches at night, which is when the animals are disappearing.
“I have so many theories about what happened to Molly. At first I thought an animal took her, or that she escaped,” Strömsmoen said. “But the cage door was shut, so I feel like she must have been stolen.”