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For ferret, it was one lonely week

So, the ferret that apparently was stolen along with a 1994 Mazda Protege from a downtown parking garage is alive, safe and back with his owners.

Except it turns out he was, um, never stolen.

Just lost.

See, even though a Beaverton couple, Tamara Forsyth and Jason Miller, reported their car - and ferret, named Sirocco - stolen June 17, it turns out they simply forgot where they parked.

For a week. Yeah.

'She thought that she had parked her car in a ramp at Southwest Fourth and Morrison when she actually parked it in a ramp at Third and Alder,' Portland police Central Precinct Sgt. Kyle Nice wrote in an e-mail.

Forsyth, 23, and Miller, 22, did not respond to an e-mail asking for an interview.

An officer with Portland Patrol Inc. found the car Sunday and called Central Precinct. Officer Curtis Pak responded.

'Officer Pak contacted me regarding breaking the window of the vehicle to immediately check on the ferret, but I advised him to wait for either the tow truck or the owner to open the vehicle,' Nice wrote. 'Officer Pak immediately contacted the owner (saving her the towing charges), and the ferret was recovered unharmed.'

Sirocco was still in his cage, in which Miller and Forsyth had left enough food and water for several days.

Nice also was concerned about Forsyth's perception, expressed in a story in Friday's Portland Tribune, that police were unhelpful in response to her 911 call.

'I have supervised the afternoon shift downtown for almost three years and have found the officers that work here are some of the most dedicated and caring in the city,' he wrote in his e-mail.