Stolen birds worth nearly $2K returned to pet store in New Jersey

TOTOWA, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Three birds that were stolen from a New Jersey pet store have been returned, the store said in a Facebook post.

Paterson Bird Store posted that the person who stole the birds brought them back on Thursday before running out of the store.



The birds were stolen just after 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 2, at the store in Totowa.

The three people, presumably a family, entered the store with a white and brown boxer with a pink leash, as well as an orange tabby cat.


They were told the cat was not allowed near the birds, and the man and boy proceeded to the birdcage area, where they stole two rosy Bourke parakeets and one American Dilute Green Cheek Conure worth nearly $2,000.

"I feel terrible for the birds," store owner Philip Jasper said. "Hopefully the birds are in good hands somewhere. The birds could be sold already to someone else."

The boy appeared to be showing the man which birds he liked and also served as a lookout. The woman stood patiently in the store, keeping a casual eye on things as the workers were busy helping customers.

"At that moment, it was just the perfect storm," Jasper said. "We were busy. We had four employees on staff, or five. They were busy doing other things, helping other customers, clipping birds, putting cages together, nobody was in that room at the time."

"They kind of went straight for two cages, two or three cages, and both cages had the value of the bird on them as well," Jasper said. "The one that's more valuable is definitely a more rare type of Conure. A Conure is like a small parrot."

There are reports that the trio targeted other stores in the area, and since they are on video, some customers have reached out to say they recognize them.

"I feel violated, for sure," Jasper said. "I feel very upset. I feel bad for my staff. I wasn't here that day. They feel so bad about it, that they missed it."

The man is described as being his late 30s or early 40s, approximately 5-foot-7 with a slender build, dark brown hair and tattoos on his neck and left arm.

He was wearing all black with a New York Yankees hat and a Puerto Rico facemask.

The woman is described as being in her late 40s or early 50s, approximately 5-foot-9 with a medium build, dark brown hair, and tattoos across her chest with two hearts and text along the lines of "JVIDA."

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She was wearing a black and white striped cropped top, gray sweater, jeans, and white sneakers. She was carrying a shiny black purse.

The child was approximately 7 to 10 years old.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Totowa Police Department at 973-790-3700.
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