Bird dies in bag during attempted theft; Fort Myers woman arrested

A Fort Myers woman was arrested after police say she tried to sneak out of a pet store with a bird and it died.

According to the arrest report, Savannah Myers, 22, went to Pet Kingdom at 4650 S. Cleveland Ave. and attempted to conceal a bird worth $275 in her bag. Employees said they recognized her from previous theft attempts done in the same manner and restrained Myers until officers with the Fort Myers Police Department arrived.

Savannah Myers. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Breeza Zeller is the store manager at the Pet Kingdom, and it was her mother who tried to hold back Myers from leaving the store.

“We were like, ‘You cannot leave, and she got very belligerent at which point my mother who … is a senior citizen — she works part-time, she is a bird lover — My mom was like, ‘You can’t go anywhere,’” Zeller explained.

It’s clear the whole thing is much bigger than a little bird for Zeller. It’s personal. It’s her mom. It’s her place of work. It’s her love for animals.

“Once we were able to get her backpack, the bag was opened, and the bird was recovered, but he didn’t make it,” Zeller said.

Zeller is guessing the bird suffocated. She told us she knows Myers from trying to steal from the store in the past.

“She knew exactly where she could go in order to stash whatever item it was,” Zeller said.

In surveillance recording, Myers is seen carrying the bird in her hand. Then, she wanders over to another area by fish tanks, where cameras couldn’t catch her, but police could.

“I just hope justice is served,” Zeller said. “I know it will be.”

Zeller told us they’ve upped the security in the pet store, with cameras in every corner. She said she might also put covers over some of the bird cages.

Myers faces charges for battery on a person 65 or older; committing theft and resisting recovery of property; inflicting death on an animal; smuggling contraband; possession of drugs without a prescription; and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

Myers remained in custody at Lee County Jail Thursday without set bond.

Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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