SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Surveillance video captured three men stealing dozens of exotic birds from a Southwest Miami-Dade farm.
The theft happened in the area of Southwest 217th Avenue and 135th Street, July 8.
Tony Silva has spent more than 40 years breeding and studying birds with a focus on education and conservation.
“This is my hobby. This is my passion,” Silva said. “We research, we investigate, we document all of our findings, and then we share that world-wide.”
Surveillance video from that day showed three men carting away carriers crammed with birds. Silva said the men arrived in a black Ford F-150 pickup truck, hopped the fence and took the exotic birds. Silva said the 54 birds that were taken from his farm are valued at $50,000.
“It was clear they stuck 54 birds in a couple of carriers,” Silva said. “They would be fighting, injuring.”
Silva said he sees a lot of visitors to the property to witness his work and research, but he believes the men might have been at the farm to map out the theft, taking several different varieties of paired conures.
“They knew what they were coming for,” Silva said. “It was clearly somebody that had been because they knew what birds to target, and what they did is they worked methodically up and down the aisle.”
He added that the men who took the birds will likely try to sell them or set up a breeding operation of their own.
Either way, Silva said they will be exposed because he, through blood tests, has the genetic fingerprint of each bird.
“So even offspring we will be able to trace back,” Silva said. “Once we trace one back, somebody’s gonna talk, and that’s our hope.”
Silva hopes people in the bird business will see what happened and keep an eye out for suspicious sales of conure birds.
If you have any information on these stolen birds, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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