Criminals Target Exotic Birds Worth Thousands in Latest Spate of Animal Thefts to Terrify Pet Owners
Exotic birds are so valuable because there are fewer of them due to limitations put on importing wild birds. And the people who own them consider them family. “You don’t take people’s children,” one owner says.
Animal thieves are focusing their efforts on stealing parrots and other exotic birds that can often be worth tens of thousands of dollars, recently reported thefts have shown.
In one incident captured on camera, brazen thieves are seen smashing a glass door at a veterinary hospital in Calabasas, California, to steal parrots.
In another, three exotic birds were stolen from Feed Barn in Dana Point, California, the week before Christmas.
Cody, a yellow-headed Amazon, Baby Love, a white cockatoo, and Sweetie, an African grey parrot, were taken by thieves who smashed through the front door of the pet supply store.
“They broke in in the middle of the night and went straight for the birds,” Michelle Martin, owner of Feed Barn, tells Inside Edition.
The two men who broke into the store were in and out in one minute. They shoved the birds into backpacks and appeared to be familiar with the animals and how to handle them. The three birds they made off with are worth $10,000 to $15,000 in total.
In Atlanta, Georgia, cops arrested a man suspected of stealing parrots from a local restaurant. The exotic creatures were found in his backyard.
Some have wondered if the string of exotic bird thefts that have been carried out across the country are related. Exotic birds are so valuable because there are fewer of them. Due to limitations put on importing wild birds, there are not many of them to breed.
But value is just one part of the reason the birds’ owners have been devastated by the thefts.
At Birds and More near Los Angeles, California, Karen Allen had three exotic birds stolen.
“You don’t take people’s children,” she says. “Whether they’re furry with four legs or feathery with two legs and wings.”
“I am fearful that I will never see these birds again,” Martin, the owner of Feed Barn, says.
Addressing the thieves directly, she says, “Just bring them back. We just want them back.”
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