WEST ALLIS, Wis. - West Allis police on Monday, Nov. 16 offered an update on a 2017 parrot theft -- and a plea for tips following the development of a second suspect in the case.
Police said Monday, "Due to new information about a second suspect and the uniqueness of the valuable parrot, we are hoping the public can provide information that helps identify the suspects and helps law enforcement recover the parrot."
Tiki was stolen from Pet World Warehouse Outlet near 108th Street and Oklahoma Avenue -- valued at $1,800. FOX6 covered the story three years ago, and police received several leads, but Tiki wasn't found, nor were any arrests made.
Police are looking for a man and woman; the man described as Hispanic or white, in his 30s, standing approximately 5'10" to 6' tall with a medium build and closely shaven beard. He was last seen wearing a baseball hat with an older Milwaukee Brewers logo, a puffy black vest and a gray sweatshirt.
The woman was described by police as white, with black or dark hair and a medium build. She was last seen wearing a baseball cap, white coat with fur-lined hood and green pants.
At the time, Tiki, a white-bellied Caique parrot, was approximately 6 months old, with a yellow head, white stomach and green back/wings.
When FOX6 spoke with employees in 2017, they said they were pretty certain the same suspect was responsible for multiple bird thefts at different stores.
"I believe he used the cart to kind of hide away the bird," said Sarah Thornton, employee, back in 2017. "Somehow got the chain off. Got the bird in his -- I'm assuming, jacket. "We don't know if this guy is doing black market or breeding. We have no idea, but it is really disconcerting and heart-wrenching to a lot of employees here."
"People do do this. There is a secondary market for birds, and it can be as easy as Craigslist," said Lori Drew, founder and president of Center for Animal Rehab.
Lori Drew with the Center for Avian Rehabilitation & Education in Waukesha, a group that cares for abused and unwanted birds. She told FOX6 the active, playful Caique are prized pets.
"Caiques are very rare. They are very expensive and they are definitely not a first-time person bird," said Drew.
"The real question is why?" said Thornton. "What purpose does stealing these birds do to you?"
If you have any information, you're asked to contact the West Allis Police Department at 414-302-8000 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 414-476-CASH.