Quick-acting store owner foils bird bandit in Van Nuys

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A fast-acting business owner foiled a would-be bird bandit who tried to swipe an exotic avian from a Van Nuys store.

The suspect got away - without the bird - and police are asking for the public's help tracking the man down.

Store video shows the man pose as a customer and enter the store and chat with the owner, then leave and return twice. The owner said the man was asking about the price of the rare and exotic Macaw, which is worth about $1,500.

"I had this sense that he was going to do something. So I grabbed the stick and I pushed him as hard as I could into the window. But I kind of lost my mind, I guess," Lloyd Bremseth said. "I tackled him on the sidewalk and I said, 'Let go of the bird' and he wouldn't let go of the bird."

On the third visit, he tries to put a bag over the head of a bird perched near the front of the store. He misses and the flapping bird falls to the floor.

Bremseth jumps into action, slamming the man to the ground and hitting him with a stick. They wrestle out the front door of the store and continue fighting down the sidewalk.

Eventually the suspect got away, but the bird was recovered. Because of the bird's price, the crime is elevated to a felony robbery.

Police asked anyone with information about the case to contact LAPD detectives at 818 374-0081 or during non-business hours at (877) LAPD-24.
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