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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 October, 2004, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Parrot paranoia betrays burglars
A domesticated parrot
The parrot's ability to talk made the burglars fearful
A gang of thieves who burgled a house were swiftly caught by police when they returned for the family's pet parrot.

The three burglars had made a clean getaway when they began to worry that the parrot might give them away after overhearing one of their nicknames.

They returned to the house, in Memphis, Tennessee, US, but were spotted by police as they loaded Marshmallow, a green six-year-old parrot, into a car.

The gang were caught after crashing, but the parrot flew away and escaped.

Police found DVD players, computers, radios, televisions and other electronic equipment stashed in the gang's car.

Parrot power

The group had returned to the scene of the crime after they became worried that the parrot might offer clues to their identities.

During the raid Marshmallow had overheard one the thieves nicknames - 'JJ' - and had been repeating it as they headed off.

"They were afraid the bird would stool on them," local police Maj Billy Reilly said.

Although the gang fled in their car when police arrived, they crashed just a few blocks away.

Marshmallow's cage broke open in the crash and the parrot flew away.

Homeowner Felicia Cobb and her children have not seen their pet since.

Three men, aged 18 to 25, were arrested.


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