Nassau County police are seeking three people who flew the coop after stealing a bird from a Mineola pet shop Saturday afternoon.
The two men and a woman came into For Birds Only, located at 176 Jericho Turnpike, at 4:23 p.m. Saturday, police said.
Two of them, a man and a woman, covered the bird, a white Goffin cockatoo, and took it out of the store while a second woman distracted a store employee, Ida Ferreira, the store’s owner, said.
Ferreira said she noticed the three-month-old bird was gone as she went to feed it about five minutes after it was stolen.
She hopes the bird is returned because it is still very young and could be in danger without the right care, she said.
“If somebody doesn’t take care of him right he’ll be between life and death,” said Ferreira, who has owned the shop with her husband, John, for 35 years.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is offering a $2,500 reward for help in finding the bird, a store employee said.
The Goffin cockatoo, a species native to Indonesia, is considered “exotic” in the U.S., Ferreira said. For Birds Only was selling the stolen bird for $1,800.
The three perpetrators, who were seen on the store’s surveillance video, are wanted for grand larceny, which is defined as theft of property worth $1,000 or more.
One of the suspects is described as a black man wearing a black Yankees baseball cap, a black basketball short-sleeve T-shirt, black pants and black sneakers, police said.
A second suspect, described as a black woman, was wearing a gray sweatshirt with black sleeves, blue jeans with ripped knees, a black baseball cap and light blue and white sneakers, police said.
The third suspect is described as a black woman whose hair was tied up and had dots across the front of her hair, police said. She carried a large dark-colored shoulder bag and wore a denim jacket, white T-shirt, black jeans, gray sandals and red earrings, police said.
Anyone with information about the crime can call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-8477 to leave an anonymous tip.