A BURGLAR raided a pet store and escaped with £8,500 worth of exotic birds and animals.
The man was captured on CCTV taking nine parrots and five dwarf hedgehogs from Bruno’s Pet Store, based at Whilton Locks Garden Store, near Daventry.
The stolen birds included a rare baby Ducorps Cockatoo worth about £1,250 and six African grey parrots, which retail at about £950 each.
These included nine-year-old Macey, who had been staying at Bruno’s until her owner 48-year-old Andy Faulkner, of Spinney Hill, Northampton, could move house. Mr Faulkner said he might offer a reward for information leading to conviction and the bird’s safe return.
He said: “I’m gutted. She was going to come back to live with me in a few weeks. If anyone knows anything I’d ask them to give me, the store or the police a call. I want her back.”
The Ducorps is white with light blue around its eyes and the African Greys are grey with white around their eyes and scarlet or brown-red tails. The dwarf hedgehogs, which sell for £150, are brown and white and about the size of a fist.
Store owner Jackie Hunt said the raid had left staff deeply upset. She said: “It’s horrible, it makes you feel physically sick because these things aren’t objects. They are living creatures.
“We knew straight away something was wrong when one of our cockatoos, Georgia, met us at the door. I think the thief must have tried to take her as well because she was out of her cage and had lost some feathers.
“This was planned and the person must have known what they were doing and been used to handling birds. It looks like he’s come in with a shopping list. To catch and put them all in one carrier as quickly as he did, when these birds have a nasty bite on them, takes some doing.
“I think the birds are going straight to sale and I’d ask anyone who is offered any of them to call the police.”
A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police said CCTV footage was being reviewed as part of the investigation into the raid, which happened between 6am and 9am on Tuesday. She said: “We would appeal to anybody who is offered one of these animals for sale, or who sees their neighbour with an unusual new pet, to call us on 03000 111222.”
n Hedgehogs crisis – see page 22