SOHO — A rabbit called Miss Cooper who is a fixture in the window of a SoHo boutique has been kidnapped by a pair of cowboy-hat wearing thieves, her heartbroken owners claimed.
The fluffy, floppy-eared brown-and-white cutie was snatched by a man with a handlebar mustache and a black Stetson and his female pardner, dressed up in a white cowboy hat, said Christopher Kulukundis, a designer at Prince Street clothing store Alexander Berardi New York.
The two, who Kulukundis said were regular visitors who had described themselves as artists in the past, often stopped by to pet Miss Cooper as she hopped in her pen in the store's front window.
But on Wednesday, they allegedly scooped her up and walked out, Kulukundis said. The kidnap is being investigated by police, officers at the NYPD's 1st Precinct confirmed.
"The man says the same thing every time, 'Every time I'm in the area, I've got to come in and see the bunny,'" said Kulunkundis.
"A lot of people come to see the bunnies, though, so it didn't seem out of the ordinary."
Miss Cooper and her rabbit pal, Jack, travel from Kulukundis' and his business partner Alexander Berardi's apartments every morning, and spend their days in a 3-by-5 foot pen lined with synthetic grass, Kulukundis said.
They're widely adored, and count model Christy Turlington and actress Jane Krakowski among their fans, he added.
Kulukundis was helping a customer when one of the two cowpokes entered. He didn't realize Miss Cooper had been taken before his customer asked where she was.
"It was a horrible feeling when I saw she was gone," he said. "I'm pretty mad at myself."
Berardi, 25, an Upper East Side resident who in 2009 was the youngest designer to be featured in New York Fashion Week, said the one-year-old Holland Lop and her companion Jack have been store fixtures since last summer.
"People come in all the time just to pet the rabbits," he said.
Miss Cooper, who is worth $45, is "really sweet and calm" and lets people pick her up, Berardi said. The store owners initially thought the rabbit was male and named it Cooper. They added "Miss" after a veteraninarian told them the bunny was female.
Berardi and Kulukundis described the couple they say took Miss Cooper as a man in his 40s who is about 5-foot-9, with dark brown hair and a medium build, and a woman in her 30s who is about 5-foot-11 with light brown hair and a medium build.
"The guy has a handlebar mustache like he played baseball in the '70s," said Kulukundis.
He and Berardi are reviewing surveillence camera footage, which they turned over to the police Thursday evening.
Jack the rabbit will stay out of the store's display window for now, Kulukundis added.
"We don't want a repeat of what happened."