These two thieves knew precisely what they were after, pet shop workers said.
Two brothers walked into an Albuquerque, N.M., pet shop in January and made a beeline for the back of the store, surveillance video posted by the Albuquerque Journal shows. A woman working at the front of the store, who appears to be cradling a rabbit, nodded at them as they walked in.
Once the men reached the back of the store, they went out of view on the video.
But what they did next is clear, Petland employees said. The men — dressed in coats and armed with gloves — grabbed a 5-month-old African Grey Parrot and a 7-month-old Scarlet Macaw from there cages. Then the two men sprinted out of the store, KOB reports.
“[I] came out of that back room and saw a man standing right here, taking an African Grey out of the door,” Terry Goodman, a manager at the store, told KOB. “He put it in his jacket. I screamed, ‘No!’ ”
Dozens of shoppers and workers at Petland saw the brazen theft unfold. One witness “saw a red wing and heard a squawk of another bird” as the thieves made their way out the door, the witness told KRQE. From there, the men hopped in a red Camaro with a woman at the wheel and got away, employees said.
“I continued screaming ‘no’ as they ran out the door with both the birds, and I ran out after them,” Goodman told KOB.
After sharing video of the theft with the public, police identified two brothers — Daniel Ibaudo, 44, and Medardo Ibuado, 36 — as suspects in the case, KRQE reports.
One of those brothers, Daniel, was taken into custody at Albuquerque’s Metropolitan Detention Center on Thursday after being transferred from El Paso, the Albuquerque Journal reports. His brother hasn’t been apprehended, police said.
The exotic birds were worth a total of $5,000, the pet shop said, and the newspaper reports that they still haven’t been found.
“It would be lovely if we could actually get the birds back and celebrate that,” Terri Hallberg, the pet shop’s owner, told the Journal on Friday. She added that she’s still hopeful the birds will be recovered.
But it wasn’t just a business loss, employees said.
“I think for most of us here, it’s not financial,” Goodman told KOB. “That’s our baby; those were our babies.”
The birds were talented, too, she said.
“Our Macaw was saying ‘hello’ and ‘hi.’ He just started to learn to say ‘love you,’ ” Goodman told the TV station. “The African Grey is a great mimicker."