NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a mystery in Queens after a couple’s bird went missing.
The owners believe someone stole their pet — and say they can prove it. It has even gotten police involved, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Sunday.
“Coco” is a 14-year-old cockatiel. CBS2’s Dave Carlin saw video of it being hand fed by owner Doina Oprea of Astoria.
But for weeks now its birdcage has been empty.
And Oprea is heartsick.
“Nobody knows what I’m feeling,” Oprea said.
It was lunchtime on March 3 when Coco flew from the hand of Doina’s husband, Gheorge, right out an open fourth-floor window.
“Each morning when I’m eating I remember him,” Oprea said.
They are convinced Coco was taken right away, right off the sidewalk in front of their Crescent Street apartment building and they found surveillance video.
“He is right here in the corner, right here, but the focus is not clear,” Gheorge said of the video.
The couple said a man seen kneeling on the clip was sweeping Coco into his bag.
Because they have the surveillance video from a laundromat they thought maybe this case would be easy to solve. But police said it’s complicated, Carlin reported.
First, the video is shot from far away, and not exactly conclusive, which is why CBS2 blurred the man’s face.
Gheorge said he found a neighbor who recognized the man and gave an address, so he went to have a talk with him about Coco. And he said that man told him, “No, I picked up something else.”
CBS2 also tried the man, but no one answered the door.
Police confirmed that they are investigating.
It has been more than a month since the incident, but it feels longer to Doina.
“It’s very, very hard,” she said.
the Opreas circulated more than 50 flyers, offering a $500 reward for Coco’s safe return.
“My daughter said, ‘Momma, buy another one.’ I say no,” Doina said.
Doina said the empty cage is only for Coco, and she’s keeping the faith that he’ll be back in it soon.
Experts at the Wild Bird Fund told CBS2 any pet cockatiel does not have the proper defenses to survive for very long outside and unprotected.