SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida pet store owner is reeling one day after, he said, thieves broke in and took off dozens of exotic birds worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Surveillance video captured two crooks as they snatched cockatiels from Simbad’s Birds & Pets, located along Southwest 40th Street in Southwest Miami-Dade, Saturday night.

“We are very concerned, and we want our birds back where we belong,” said the shop’s owner, Fernando Dona.

Dona said he made the costly discovery Sunday morning.

“They came through over here, then they made a big hole,” he said.

The security footage captured the subjects as they worked their way into the back of the business.

Dona said the duo stayed there at least 20 minutes, then walked out one by one carrying the pricey cockatiels to a getaway vehicle outside.

“They took around 200 cockatiels, worth probably about $50,000 in birds,” he said.

Dona said the birds hold a lot of value because they are unique.

“The value of those birds, they’re very expensive, and tou can hardly see them now in town,” he said, “so they knew what they were looking for.”

The pet store owner said the thieves knew exactly what they were doing.

“Definitely, they’ve been here before, because they knew the time we punch in and the time that we go out,” he said. “They knew everything; there was a plan.”

Dona has a message for the people responsible for the nighttime theft.

“Try to be a human being and bring our birds back. We need them here in our store. That’s where they belong: they belong here in our store,” he said.

If not, he said, he hopes someone in the community knows something, sees something or maybe even hears something, and is able to help get these birds back.

“It’s about the birds. We want to make sure the birds are OK,” said Dona, “and that’s why we’re asking people for help to bring our birds back.”

Dona is offering a $5,000 reward for the return of the cockatiels.

If you have any information on this theft or the subjects’ whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

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