Brazen thieves take $8K cockatoo in North Miami

NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — A couple of brazen thieves stole a family’s prized possession – their parrot.

The $8,000 yellow crested cockatoo was more than just a pet to the North Miami Beach family. For Castillo, it was as if a part of her family was stolen from her home.

“I was in shock. It’s heart-breaking. It’s a family member,”said owner Santina Castillo.

Last month, while Castillo and her family slept, two men sneaked into her backyard at around 5 a.m. and stole her yellow crested cockatoo named Bopper.

It was all caught on surveillance cameras that were pointed directly at the cage.

Video shows the men sneaking up to the cage. Moments later, they were scared off by another one of Castillo’s birds that had moved. The men returned, lifted the cage, and walked off with the $8,000 parrot.

A couple of hours later, Castillo woke up.

“When I got up at 7:20, I usually look toward the kitchen window and I noticed the top half of Bopper’s cage was gone,” said Castillo.

She checked the surveillance video and saw her beloved pet of six years was taken.

“I was beyond rage. I was frustrated, angry. I was swearing. I was screaming. I was yelling his name,” said Castillo.

Now she feels violated and unsafe in her own home.

“That’s what scares me more is the kids. Now it’s always watching my back and always watching the camera,” said Castillo.

Bopper has a ring over his right leg and responds to certain words.

“He knows his name. He knows other words besides his name Bopper. He knows cockatoo and he knows cracker,” said Castillo.

The loss is devastating.

“I’m a bird lover. I’m an animal lover. I have several other birds. I have several other animals and it’s just heartbreaking,” said Castillo.

If you can help her, and have any information on this crime, call North Miami Beach Police and you could receive a $500 reward for the safe return of Bopper.


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