Merchandise or cash was not the target of a bizarre overnight burglary, but instead, the target was a parrot named Scarlet.
Parrots can be worth a lot of money, but fortunately for Scarlet, the attempted birdnapping overnight had a happy ending. It was all caught on surveillance video.
Scarlet is the mascot for BJ's Famous Uniforms in the 3900 block of Leopard Street. She has been at the store for more than 18 years.
"We have so many families with their kids who bring their kids in to see Scarlet," store owner Connie Noles said.
On Thursday night, a thief attempted to snatch Scarlet. According to police, 49-year old Santiago Zapata threw a rock several times at the glass doors to the store, finally breaking through. Once inside, he went straight to Scarlet's cage and broke her out, wrapping her in a blanket and fleeing the scene.
Police patrolling the area heard the stores alarm and found the suspect nearby.
"They stopped and asked what was in the blanket," Noles said. "He said, 'It's my parrot,' and immediately they knew it came from BJ's."
Officers arrested Zapata and returned Scarlet to her cage.
"I think she knicked the officer putting her back," Noles said.
Zapata is now behind bars and faces burglary charges.
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