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Venice Man Charged in Parrot Theft

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 46-year-old man Thursday morning after he stole a parrot from a Venice pet store. Patrol deputies responded to the Pet Supermarket located at 4148 S. Tamiami Trail on Monday around 1:00 p.m., for the report of a stolen turquoise green-cheeked conure named “Lapis.” According to a store employee, the suspect grabbed a bag of birdseed before reaching into a large cage and removing one of several small parrots. When the employee tried to intervene, the suspect put the bird in his pocket and fled in a nearby vehicle. Detectives reviewed surveillance video which helped identify Richard Rivers, DOB 06/11/76, as the suspect. Deputies met with Rivers at his home Thursday morning where they recovered the stolen bird unharmed. Rivers, of 549 La Gorce Drive in Venice, is charged with a single count of Petit Theft. He has several prior charges including Battery, Grand Theft and Drug Possession. Rivers remains in custody today at the Sarasota County Correctional Facility on $500 bond.
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