SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - The man accused of stealing dozens of birds from South Florida families faced a judge in the case, as police continue searching for the missing pets, days after locating more than a dozen of them.
Lazaro Mantillaur appeared in bond court on Sunday. The 45-year-old faces multiple burglary and grand theft charges
“Mr. Mantillaur is charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure while masked, a felony of a second degree, and grand theft in the third degree,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Chiaka Ihekwaba.
Police said the suspect stole pet parrots and other kinds of birds from the Southwest Miami-Dade area.
“I’m placing the felony hold on the four new cases,” said Ihekwaba.
Mantillaur’s court appearance takes place two days after several families were reunited with their pet birds after, Miami-Dade Police said, they found at least 14 of the animals at a business in Doral.
One of the birds belongs to a family of four. Two of the family members, and Natascha Cortes and Eduardo Munoz, spoke with 7News on Friday.
“I can’t express how I feel. It’s a relief,” said Munoz.
The family said their other bird of more than 20 years is still missing.
“Even though we don’t have the other one, our 22-year-old, we’re still having the hope that he’s coming back,” said Cortes.
7News had recently reported on several thefts to which, police say, Mantillaur may be linked.
One incident caught on surveillance video showed a man after he stuffed parrots into a bag at a nursery and took off running.
As for Mantillaur, he remains behind bars with a big bond.
“Yes, it is $63,500,” said Ihekwaba.
Meanwhile, police continue to search for the owners of some of the birds they’ve recovered, hoping for more happy reunions.
Mantillaur has also been ordered to stay away from the victims and the locations where the thefts took place
Some of the birds reported missing still have not been located.
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