CRUEL pranksters are said to have targeted a "heartbroken" Frinton woman who fears her missing cat may actually have been stolen. 

Helen Wilson, 45, has been looking for her lost cat, Alfie, since he was last seen walking along fences which back onto the train tracks on February 29. 

The 14-year-old house cat is described as being incredibly loving and sweet-natured, but also nervous around new people until he gains their trust.

"He follows me everywhere and always wants to be by my side," said Helen. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Missing - Alfie the catMissing - Alfie the cat (Image: Helen Wilson)

Since his sudden disappearance Helen and her five-year-old daughter have been left devastated. 

She added: "We are both totally and utterly heartbroken, since Alfie has been missing I’ve been physically searching every day.

"I’ve leafleted all the local houses, knocked on doors, and put posters up around the local area."

However, posters down one road in Frinton are constantly being ripped down Helen says, raising suspicion.

She said: "Unfortunately posters are being removed in one particular stretch of road. This has been happening down Frinton Road between the Onestop and Parker’s.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Family - Helen and her five-year-old daughterFamily - Helen and her five-year-old daughter (Image: Helen Wilson)

"One poster was taken out of its plastic sleeve, my phone number ripped off and then placed back in the plastic sleeve and pinned back.

"Others have been ripped down completely since. And only on this one stretch of road."

Sick pranksters have also phoned her pretending they have injured poor Alfie. 

Helen said: "I have received prank calls asking for money and one telling me that they had run Alfie over, which my daughter unfortunately heard and burst into tears."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Ripped - the defaced missing poster Ripped - the defaced missing poster (Image: Helen Wilson)

Helen has now urged whoever may have Alfie to return him back home. 

She said: "If someone has Alfie I just want them to please return him to a heartbroken owner and young daughter. 

"There will be no repercussions - just a thank you for keeping him safe.

"If anyone has seen a neighbour with a new cat resembling Alfie could they please call in, he needs to be home where he is deeply loved and missed."