Denny's Pet World searching for 'baby,' stolen from Kirkland store
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
August 24, 2012 · Updated 11:15 AM
When merchandise is stolen from a store it can take a few days before employees notice. But when it is an animal, from a local store such as Denny’s Pet World, it is noticed immediately.
“We noticed it about half hour later when it was feeding time,” said Denny’s Pet World manager Kelly Parsons. “(Those parrots) are our babies. We get them really young and hand feed them. The sad part is that I don’t think anyone who would steal an animal would take very good care of them.”
For employees, the heartbreak of losing the Cheek Conure parrot is more devastating than the monitory value of $600. And while the birds are not rare, the unusual turquoise coloring of this specific bird may have made it a target.
It was around 8 p.m. when the bird was taken on Aug. 14 said Parsons. Store management believes the suspects were caught on surveillance footage, which was posted on the Denny’s Pet World Facebook page. The video shows a bald black man in an old style red Michael Jordan Bulls jersey and matching red shorts with a white woman with long brown hair in a blue dress looking at the bird.
“We didn’t actually see them grab it but they were the only ones in the area,” said Parsons, who added that the store has multiple surveillance views but could only post the one angle online that did not show other customers. All of the videos were given to the Kirkland Police Department, which is investigating the incident.
“We got a copy of the video and we will try to get some information out of that,” said Kirkland Police Lt. Mike Murray. “It is assigned to a detective but with the bird only being worth about $600 it doesn’t rise to the level of a felony.”
Murray said that the couple in the video are persons-of-interest in the case.
“We would like to ID them and then talk to them but they are not suspects,” said Murray.
The couple enter and leave the frame twice looking at the bird and talking. A young child is in the center of the screen looking at a furry animal in a glassed-in bin. Parsons said that she believes the child was with the couple.
“I can’t believe they would bring their child with them to steal something,” said Parsons.
The suspects also took a sign that has a description of the bird and price. That missing sign leads Parsons to believe the couple stole the bird to sell it. Store management filed a police report and has scoured Craigslist.com and other non-retail businesses in trying to locate the parrot.
“There is more of a chance that someone will get caught with (Denny’s Pet World management) actively searching,” said Murray.
Parsons said that she also called around to other pet stores in the area to ask if they had any thing stolen and to look out for anyone trying to sell the bird. She found that three other birds have been stolen in the area recently.
While on the phone with a pet store in Bothell, she found that management there has also seen the couple in their store.
“They didn’t have a bird stolen but when I described the people on the video they finished my sentence,” said Parsons.
The couple has come into the Bothell store enough times that employees knew the description but not their names.
Parsons said that it’s not the first time Denny’s Pet World has had animals stolen but it is rare.
“Not too often, I mean it does happen,” said Parsons. “We have had some bunnies stole in he past.”
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Kirkland Police Department’s non-emergency number at 425-577-5656.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.