“I don’t think anybody purposefully stole them..” – Bridgette Gill of the TNR rescue group Purrfect Paws & Pals
She thinks that the traps were mistaken for junk and taken to be scrapped as on the day they were taken trash collection takes place and people leave stuff out. People scan the front of homes to see if something useful can be recycled or scrapped she says.
The other possibility is that someone in the community does not like TNR as they believe the solution for dealing with feral cats is not to put them back on the street after neutering or spaying but to trap and kill. These people don’t like feral cats and they don’t like TNR people either.
There are two possibilities therefore. Your choice as to what has happened depends on how cynical and sceptical you are or whether you have an optimistic and slighlty innocent viewpoint.
Note: For theft you need mens rea (intent) and if they were taken for scrap intent will be hard to prove as the person who took them believed that they were rubbish and abandoned.
P.S. I don’t have access to the written article online. I just have the video. The online newspaper is barred to Europeans. This is becoming more and more an issue. Many American news websites are too lazy to comply with EU privacy regulations and prefer to block the site completely.