Police are hoping to identify a man who was caught by surveillance cameras as he ran from a Valley Glen pet store with an exotic bird, only to be chased down and have the bird reclaimed by a 70-year-old employee, officials said Monday.
The incident occurred April 28 at Birds Plus, in the 14000 block of Burbank Blvd, around 3:50 p.m., according to Detective Peter Barba with the Los Angeles Police Department.
The man first came into the store pretending to be a customer, asking the sales associate questions about which kind of bird would be the most suitable for his family, the surveillance footage shows.
He then left, but soon rushed back in and grabbed a Macaw he had been eyeing. The bird is worth over $1,000, Barba said.
The man ran out of the store, but the clerk was close behind. He can be seen knocking the thief to the floor before chasing him out the door with a stick in hand.
A struggle ensued on the sidewalk in front of the shop, and the employee was eventually able to retrieve the exotic bird, who has since recovered.
Police are seeking the public's help in identifying the man seen attempting to commit a felony, who was able to flee the scene, Barba said.
"He came in looking to steal a bird, and he may have done this before," Barba told KTLA.
Because the man was involved in a fight with the employee while attempting to take the Macaw, he is wanted on suspicion of robbery, according to Barba.
The suspect is described by police as a Hispanic man with brown hair and eyes, measuring around 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. At the time of the incident he was wearing a black-and-white shirt and brown pants with a black hat and brown shoes.
Anyone with information can contact Detective Barba or Detective Cheun at 818-374-0081, or call 877-527-3247 after business hours and on weekends. Anonymous tips can be submitted via 800-222-8477 or www.lacrimestoppers.org.