Suspect Arrested After African Gray Parrot Stolen From South Gate Business Was Returned to Store

A woman accused of stealing an exotic bird from a small business in South Gate was arrested Saturday, police said.

Surveillance video caught a woman taking an African grey parrot from a small business in South Gate on Nov. 17, 2016.

Surveillance video caught a woman taking an African grey parrot from a small business in South Gate on Nov. 17, 2016.

Surveillance footage showed the bird, an African gray parrot named Max, was taken Thursday by a woman who distracted the employee present with a product request before wrapping it with a towel and fleeing in an Uber car. The 1-year-old bird is kept as a pet at auto accessories store Xtreme Motors Sports at 10240 Atlantic Ave., owner Karen Valadez told KTLA.

The thief managed to get away, but dropped her cell phone at the scene with the Uber app still open, police said.

The bird was mysteriously returned Saturday while police were still investigating the incident, according to a post on the South Gate Police Department’s Facebook page. By evening, detectives were able to identify the suspect and take her into custody.

The suspect’s identity has not been released.