Florida man ‘Redbeard’ steals $1,800 parrot, abandons it, authorities say

Florida man ‘Redbeard’ steals $1,800 parrot, abandons it, authorities say

A Florida man known locally as “Redbeard” is facing charges after he kidnapped his roommate’s parrot and left it injured and alone at a bus stop, authorities said.

Justin Peters, 40, of Summerland Key, was arrested Tuesday after pilfering the eclectus parrot — named Piper — from a 37-year-old woman in June and has been charged with grand theft and animal cruelty, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The $1,800 bird’s owner told police that she instructed Peters to never let it out of her cage or remove it from their residence. On June 14, she called police to say Piper had been stolen.

The day before that, a witness told deputies that he spotted a man, later identified as Peters, at a bus stop and later noted that he was gone — but left the bird behind on a bench.

The man scooped up the parrot and called authorities and attempted to locate the bird’s owner, police said.

The sheriff’s office said a witness reported seeing a man at a bus stop near his business. The man disappeared, leaving a parrot on the bench in his place. People at a nearby restaurant and gas station also reportedly saw the man, later identified as Peters, with the same “agitated” red bird.

Deputies said Piper was returned to its owner and taken to the vet to get checked out. The parrot reportedly multiple broken bones, a dislocated hip and blunt force trauma to one side of its body, among other injuries.

Peters was taken to jail and charged with grand theft and animal cruelty.
Florida man ‘Redbeard’ steals $1,800 parrot, abandons it, authorities say
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