Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Indian Rocks Beach man accused of stealing cat from SPCA van

James John Zimmer was charged with burglary for taking a cat from the SPCA van on Wednesday.

James John Zimmer was charged with burglary for taking a cat from the SPCA van on Wednesday.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — A 63-year-old man who had 25 cats seized from his apartment Tuesday was arrested Wednesday, accused of stealing a different cat from an animal welfare worker who returned to look for more cats.

On Tuesday, James Zimmer's apartment at 2305 First St. was declared a health hazard after the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay discovered 25 live cats, and one dead one, in deplorable conditions, officials said. The cats had turned the unit into their litter box, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

An SPCA officer went back to Zimmer's apartment Wednesday afternoon to search for more cats and found four. Zimmer also was at the apartment, removing his belongings, the Sheriff's Office said.

The SPCA officer put each cat in a separate crate and then into a van, which was left unlocked and running to keep the air conditioner running for the cats. The officer then went back into the apartment to look for more cats, the Sheriff's Office said.

When the officer got back to the SPCA, she noticed one of the crates was missing.

Shortly before the Sheriff's Office was notified of the missing crate, Zimmer approached a Pinellas deputy in the parking lot of Indian Rocks Beach City Hall. The deputy noticed a crate in the passenger seat of Zimmer's vehicle before he drove away. A witness also reported seeing Zimmer take the cat.

When authorities found Zimmer, he said he had left the cat at a storage unit on Walsingham Road. The SPCA retrieved the cat.

Zimmer was arrested on a charge of conveyance burglary and remained in the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Indian Rocks Beach man accused of stealing cat from SPCA van 10/01/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 2, 2009 9:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. A boy and a girl stare at the camera from their house after Hurrciane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, September 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. [Associated Prss]
  2. Young girl injured by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium renews call for more netting


    NEW YORK — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. [Associated Press]
  3. Even a weakened Irma leaves its mark on Pasco


    It was a Category 5, a Category 3, a tropical storm. It was Hurricane Irma, and she turned out to be a little fickle by the time she touched Pasco County.

    But she had strong breath.

    Above, James Robbins of New Port Richey paddles on Elfers Parkway after checking on his cats living on the second floor of his home on the Anclote River.
  4. Photo of the Day for September 21, 2017 - A Gorgeous sunset on the gulf

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Evan Kaplan of New Port Richey, FL.

  5. State shuts down Hollywood nursing home where 9 died in scorching heat

    State Roundup

    HOLLYWOOD — The Hollywood Hills nursing home that became a sweltering deathtrap for nine seniors after Hurricane Irma was shut down Wednesday.

    Dawn Schonwetter stops to look at a memorial of flowers and messages left on the sidewalk of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Nine residents of the nursing home died in the wake of Irma, including one who was added to the death toll on Tuesday. [AL DIAZ | Miami Herald]