A string of cat mutilations and murders dating back to 2015 has British police issuing a dire warning.
Keep your cats, dogs and other animals inside at night, the Northamptonshire Police wrote in an official statement, and watch out for any suspicious people.
And if you see something odd, notify authorities.
That’s because there’s a suspected serial cat killer on the loose in the United Kingdom who may have killed over 250 cats in the last three years, the Sussex Express reported.
The unknown killer is known as the “Croydon cat killer,” and they are believed to be responsible for at least five cat murders since August in the Northampton area, according to BBC.
The deaths are assumed to be from the same person, BBC wrote, because all five cats were found in a public place with their heads cut off. One cat was found on top of a car, and another on its owner’s property inside a bag.
Elaine Smith said that she found the remains of her cat Massive on her lawn after he had gone missing, according to the Sussex Express.
“It has been so sad for all our family and friends who knew Massive — he was such a special cat,” she said. “It’s also left me very afraid to be at home alone. Knowing (they) could have been watching the house and my reaction when I found our cat."
Some are concerned the alleged killer could move on to target people, and specifically young girls and women.
“There is a known link between serial killers and harming animals when you look into their dark history,” Andy Collin, a detective with Metropolitan Police, told SkyNews. “If you look at offending patterns, the assumption is this killer is getting some form of gratification.
“The concern is they will cease getting that gratification and escalate the attacks to humans, specifically vulnerable women and girls.”
According to SkyNews, just eight animals were reported dead when police starting looking into the mysterious deaths in 2015. Now, the number totals to around 360 if you count foxes and rabbits along with cats that have all been discovered with their limbs or their heads missing.
Police have issued a description of the suspected mass feline murderer: He’s white and between five-foot-eight to five-foot-eleven with brown hair and possible acne scarring on his face, the International Business Times reported.
It’s believed the serial cat killer hunts at night, using food to lure cats in before killing them in a slow and brutal manner, Metro reported. He’s also been seen wearing a lamp on his head or carrying a torch, using “kissing noises” to attract animals to him, the International Business Times wrote.