The Orange County Sherriff's Department released surveillance video they said shows James Leland Loper, 35, playing with birds, then nabbing one and placing it in his coat jacket.
Employees at Omar's Exotic Birds store in Lake Forest, California, said Loper looked a bit suspicious. He was in the store for 30 minutes, but the bird popped out of his jacket as he ran out of the store.
"Somebody just saw a bird coming out of his shirt," assistant manager of the pet shop, Danielle Sklar, told the OC Register.
A group of customers chased and tackled the alleged thief, and returned the bird to the store, deputies said.
Video: Man tries to make off with $1,300 bird
Published at 4:53 PM EST on Jan 26, 2009