Orange County Sheriff's cruiser
Orange Count Sheriff's cruiser. MyNewsLA.com photo by John Schrieber

Orange County sheriff’s deputies Thursday were looking for two men who broke into a store in Dana Point this week to steal three rare-bird pets.

The burglary occurred about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Feed Barn store at 34192 Doheny Park Road, according to Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The burglary was not detected until 9 a.m. Tuesday, when the manager was opening the store, Braun said.

The two burglars smashed through a glass front door and took a double yellow-headed Amazon parrot, an Umbrella Cockatoo and a Congo African parrot worth an estimated $7,500 combined, Braun said.

The thieves grabbed the birds from their cages and stuffed them in backpacks and fled, Braun said.

Amber Cardona, the store’s manager, said she called deputies as soon as she saw the broken glass when she arrived at work. For some reason, the break-in did not trip the store’s alarm system, which was only triggered when deputies opened the door to begin investigating, she added.

The “cages are massive,” which explains why the thieves stuffed the birds into backpacks, because they had to crawl in and out of the glass hole in the front door, Cardona said.

The Congo African — Sweetie — is 35 years old; the Amazon parrot — Cody — is 40; and the cockatoo — Baby Love — is 22, Cardona said.

“Me and the white one were bonded,” Cardona said, adding she and the owner were close to the pets. The birds have been at the store for the past few years or so, she added.

Store employees are scouring social media, Craigslist and Swap Meets to see if anyone was trying to sell the birds.

Anyone with information about the stolen birds was asked to call sheriff’s deputies at 714-647-7000, Braun said.

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