A much-loved moggy who went missing when the car he was in was stolen has been reunited with his owners.
The car was stolen last week from Tauranga and police pulled the vehicle over in Hamilton, but Murray the cat was nowhere to be seen.
Waikato Police community liaison Jack Driver said the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit found out the car had stopped in Te Aroha on the way to Hamilton. One of the police officers went back to Te Aroha and started asking around about the cat.
"They went down an alley way where there happened to be a child walking through who they spoke to about the cat and he said 'yeah I've seen that cat'.
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The child took them to a house and as they approached the house, the cat appeared from under the deck.
However, Waikato Police have praised their very own "pet detective" for locating him and taking him back to his family.
"Using years of acquired skill, a well worn Hawaiian shirt and driven by his love of cats, the Pet Detective tracked down Murray [in another town] and reunited him with his owners," a post on the Waikato Police Facebook page said.
It is understood the cat just happened to be in the car when it was stolen.
The car and cat thief has been charged and is due to appear at court.