Riverside County

Police Find Woman Who Stole Bird by Stuffing it in Her Purse

When police tried to interview the suspect, she "ingested a large quantity of prescription medication"

Deputies recovered an expensive and exotic bird stolen from a Menifee pet store earlier this week and identified a 38-year-old female suspect, Riverside County sheriff's officials said Sunday.

The theft occurred at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday at Birds-N-Paradise, 27620 Encanto Drive, sheriff's officials said.

The bird in question, a Blue Indian Ringneck Parakeet, was removed from its cage by the suspect and smuggled out of the store in her purse, according to sheriff's officials.

Deputies later learned that the bird had been sold to a young girl, but she hadn't yet picked it up.

On Friday, investigators identified Harmony Marie Mejia of Perris as the suspected bird snatcher.

When deputies attempted to interview Mejia at her residence in the 3900 block of Strand Way, she hid in her house and "ingested a large quantity of prescription medication, which required her to be transported to a hospital," sheriff's officials said.

Deputies later found the bird unharmed in Mejia's home.

The bird was reunited with the store's owner, and will be delivered to the young girl who had purchased it.

Mejia was not arrested, but sheriff's officials said the case will be forwarded to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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