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Man Arrested For Stealing Parrot From West Islip Pet Shop: PD

Patch logo Patch 12/18/2019 Priscila Korb
a parrot on his head © Provided by Patch

WEST ISLIP, NY - An arrest has been made after an incident involving a parrot at a West Islip pet store last month. B.T.J.'s Jungle on 144 Sunrise Highway reported in November that man walked out with a Quaker parrot that had just been groomed.

Later, Suffolk Police stated that the incident was deemed non-criminal, not providing any additional details. The parrot, who was purchased as an emotional support animal, went in for grooming and was left on the counter while waiting for the owner to pick him up. At first, the man who took the bird told police he unintentionally took the box with the bird, thinking it was a box of mice he ordered, and kept it in his car, according to a News12 report. He claimed that by the time he opened the box he said the parrot had died.

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However now after an investigation, it appears the incident was not unintentional. After receiving anonymous tips that the man who took the bird still had the parrot, the pet shop employee Bill Niehoff called police, who reopened the case, CBS2 reports. They found that the man had allegedly lied about accidentally taking the bird, worth up to $1,000, according to CBS2.

As a result, Bay Shore resident Paul Welch was arrested and charged with petty larceny for the theft of the bird, Suffolk Police confirmed. It is still unknown if the parrot is alive. He is sticking to his story that he accidentally took the bird in the box, thinking it was a box of mice for his snake, and the parrot died in his car, according to the report.

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