Homeless Man's Beloved Pet Rat 'Lucy' Has Been Stolen
Pet owner and homeless man Chris is grieving the loss of his cherished pet rat 'Lucy' who was stolen from her Sydney home on Saturday afternoon.
Chris believes Lucy was taken from outside Footlocker on Pitt Street when he left briefly to use the bathroom at around 2pm.
Now he's on a city-wide search to retrieve what he's described as a member of his family.
Notably distressed, Chris sits on a milk crate with a handwritten sign: 'My pet rat Lucy was stolen on Saturday. Lucy is black and white with a bit of brown.'
Several people stop to read the sign, shake their heads and offer him their condolences.
"I'm so sorry man. That's so awful for someone to do that. I hope you find her," one man shouts out as he walks by.
READ MORE: How Our Cashless Society Hits The Homeless
Lucy is a city staple, often seen sleeping on a blue blanket and munching on food while her owner chats with those passing by.
She is trained to kiss those who regularly stop to take photos with her on the busy urban sprawl.
Lucy has even won local police over and has been dubbed an unofficial mascot, 10 daily understands.
Chris is also well-loved, with an online campaign to retrieve Lucy going viral just days after she was stolen.
"Almost every day since I started my job in the city Chris and his pet rat Lucy have sat in the same spot, Chris chatting to passersby and Lucy happily munching, sleeping and looking on," one person wrote in a Facebook post.
"On a trip to Sydney, my kids loved meeting Lucy and Chris. I hope Lucy is returned safe. Very kind sweet man who loved Lucy so much," another user wrote.
While he's received numerous offers for new rats, Chris is still hoping "his little girl" Lucy will be returned.
The 59-year-old believes police have already identified the suspected thief using CCTV footage.
Lucy recently underwent surgery to remove a tumour and has had bouts of illness and so Chris urgently hopes she will be returned safely.
While Chris waits for the police investigation to conclude, Facebook users have flood social media with fond memories of Lucy.
" I remember when I used to work at David Jones when I first moved to Sydney, I used to chat with him on my lunch breaks and play with Lucy. She's all he has. Literally!
It's so devastating that someone has taken her from him. I hope she is safe and can be returned to him," one woman said.
NSW Police told 10 daily there had been a report made and an investigation was currently underway.