Alleged Thief On Police Chase Thwarted By Adorable Cats

09/03/2014 11:35 am ET | Updated Sep 03, 2014

Cats will do anything to ruin your day.

Last week, they ruined 21-year-old Daniel Pinedo Velapatino's day. The suspect had just talked his way into a woman's home in Boca Raton, Florida, after leading police on a wild chase from Delray Beach. He may have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling, cute, fuzzy wuzzy cats lying around.

The homeowner, Candace Noonan, thought Velapatino was a landscaper. He knocked on her door last Tuesday to ask for a drink.

"I said, ’Excuse me, can I help you?'" Noonan told WPBF. "He said, 'Oh, I’m so sorry. Next door, I’m mowing the lawn. Do you mind if I have a glass of water?'"

Noonan obliged, unaware that Velapatino had allegedly consumed drugs the night before, stole thousands of dollars from a buddy, and then smashed into a bunch of cars as he ran from police toward her home.

When she returned with the water, Velapatino was lying on her floor, playing with her cats.

"It was odd, very odd," she said. "He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped."

When Noonan's husband began questioning Velpatino, he fled out the back door. The Noonans led police to him, and he allegedly attempted to jump in a nearby canal -- but a police boat caught up to him.

During the early morning hours on Tuesday, Daniel Pinedo Velapatino managed to take thousands of dollars from his friend, steal a car, have two police agencies chase him on water and land, damage a police cruiser and burglarize a couple’s home, according to police.

But the 21-year-old said he had a reason: He told police he stole the money to pay his mom back [$2,000].

Velapatino was already wanted for a car theft in June. He had been arrested on drug charges before, but wasn't convicted. Now he faces grand theft, eluding police, possession of drugs and other charges. He remains in the Palm Beach County Jail on $76,000 bail.

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