SUMMERLAND KEY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Summerland Key man was arrested on Tuesday after deputies said he stole his roommate’s bird and left it injured at a bus stop in the Florida Keys.
According to a post on the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, Justin David “Redbeard” Peters, 40, was accused of stealing the $1,800 bird on June 13. The victim, a 37-year-old woman, told police that she instructed Peters to leave the bird, Piper, alone and that he did not have permission to remove it from its cage and leave the house.
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.