Stolen parrot returned to owner, stranger pays off remaining balance to pet store

Posted at 9:51 PM, Oct 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-01 22:35:46-04

WYOMING, Mich--  A man and his parrot were reunited in Wyoming on Sunday.

It comes after the bird was stolen from Casa La Parrot on 28th Street last Wednesday. The theft was caught on camera and the surveillance video was shared all over West Michigan.

"Obviously we started out being really terrified," says store manager Jessica Oegema. "Didn't know if we were going to get him back."

Just days later, police say a credible tip about the bird came in and led to Max the Parrot's safe discovery at an undisclosed location.

The bird's owner, Alex Lackey had been on a payment plan for Max for about a year and says he's forged a strong bond with the bird in that time.

On Sunday, he told FOX 17 he was blown away by everyone who helped find his pet.

"The way everybody came together and honestly, the community came together and it got really big," says Lackey. "Obviously that's really heartwarming when something like that happens."

One person who went the extra mile for Lackey is Stephen Smith, who reached out to FOX 17 after seeing our original story about the birdnapping.

"I was crushed," says Smith. "It was just the worst thing I could even imagine because I've had a Macaw for 27 years and I've always been afraid that some day something may happen."

Smith says he understands the companionship Lackey has with his bird. Smith lost his wife to cancer two years ago and says his pet named Chester has helped him get through it.

Touched by Lackey's story, Smith paid off Lackey's remaining balance on Max on Sunday. He gave Case La Parrot about $700 so Lackey could finally take the bird home.

"I don't even know how to describe it," says Lackey. "I mean, it was crazy. I never expected in a million years for something like that to happen. I mean, that's the stuff you hear in stories."

"It really restores your faith in humanity," says store manager Jessica Oegema. "Couldn't have asked for a better outcome, really couldn't have."

As for the woman seen in surveillance video stealing the bird, police haven't made any arrests yet and have forwarded the case to the prosecutor's office for review.