Burlington, NC -- People normally go to an animal shelter during business hours to adopt animals.
So imagine the surprise of police and shelter workers when they found 16 cats were missing from the Burlington Animal Shelter last week.
Police said Emily Uckele broke into the shelter - sometime between May 7 and May 8 - took 16 cats, then set them free.
Uckele is charged with Breaking and Entering, Larceny after Breaking and Entering, and First-Degree Trespass.
Investigators told WFMY News 2 they don't know where the cats are. And don't believe Uckele was working alone.
On Tuesday, the 22-year-old was in court for her first court appearance. This is after, surrendering herself to the Alamance County Sheriff Office after a warrant was issued. She was released on $3,000 secured bond.
The cats are considered city property and valued at $800.
Uckele is out on a $3,000 bond. In her first court appearance Wednesday, Uckele learned she faces a total of 84 months in prison for her two breaking-and-entering charges. She also faces 60 days in prison for the trespassing charge.
Uckele's next court date is May 29 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom B.
As of 3PM, the Burlington Animal Shelter recovered one out of the 15 cats.