Four teenagers are accused of trying to sell 39 carrier pigeons and doves that had been stolen in Hialeah.
Hialeah police said the youths, 14 to 17, were arrested when they tried to sell the birds to a pet shop. The suspects were reported to have arrived recently from Cuba, according to information from El Nuevo Herald news partner Univision 23
The pet shop’s owner contacted authorities because he found the teens’ offer suspicious, especially since the group was apparently asking for $5 per bird. Police estimated that each bird is worth $100, making the deal for the 39 pigeons worth $3,900.
Police said the youths were linked to five thefts in Hialeah in recent days. An owner of 12 of the birds identified the birds at the store and alerted the pet shop owner.
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“Instead of going to school to study, this is what they are doing. They are breaking into other people’s homes in the middle of the night, or when the owners are out working, and they steal the pigeons from their cages,” Hialeah Police Sgt. Carl Zogby told NBC6.
Pigeons are popular among Hialeah residents who keep them as pets, for sport or as carrier pigeons.
The teens were taken Wednesday night to the youth detention center. They face charges of trying to sell stolen property, but other charges have not been ruled out.
The pigeons are well and will be returned to their owners, police said.