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The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 44-year-old man Thursday morning after he stole a parrot from a Venice pet store. (Credit: SCSO)

Deputies: Man pockets parrot at Venice pet store

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 44-year-old man Thursday morning after they say he stole a parrot from a Venice pet store.

Deputies say Richard Rivers, 44, walked into a Pet Supermarket in Venice on Oct. 14 and removed a turquoise green-cheeked conure from its cage, sticking it in his pocket before grabbing a bag of birdseed and leaving the store.

Surveillance video shows a store employee follow Rivers to the parking lot, where Rivers left in a vehicle. He was identified by detectives reviewing the video, and they went to his home where they recovered the bird, named “Lapis,” and arrested Rivers. Lapis was unharmed, according to deputies.

Rivers faces a single count of petit theft. The sheriff’s office says he has several prior charges including battery, grand theft and drug possession. Rivers was still in custody Thursday afternoon at the Sarasota County Correctional Facility on a $500 bond.

Watch the surveillance video above or click here.

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