SCSO: Venice man charged in parrot theft

SCSO: Venice man charged in parrot theft
Richard Rivers' mug shot alongside a photo of Lapis, the parrot deputies say Rivers stole. (Source: SCSO)

VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man on Thursday, Oct. 22, after he stole a parrot from a Venice pet store.

Patrol deputies responded to the Pet Supermarket located at 4148 S. Tamiami Trail on Oct. 19 around 2 p.m. for the report of a stolen turquoise green-cheeked Conure named “Lapis.”

A store employee told deputies that the suspect grabbed a bag of birdseeds before reaching into a large cage and removing one of several small parrots on Oct. 14.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, when the employee tried to intervene, the suspect put the bird in his pocket and fled in a nearby vehicle. Detectives reviewed surveillance video which helped identify Richard Rivers, 44, as the suspect. Deputies met with Rivers at his Venice home on Thursday morning where they recovered the stolen bird unharmed.

Rivers is charged with a single count of Petty Theft. He has several prior charges including Battery, Grand Theft and Drug Possession.

Rivers remains in custody today at the Sarasota County Correctional Facility on $500 bond.

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