LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — A South Florida man is accused of stealing 69 birds worth more than $10,000 from their cages during a burglary, authorities said.
Damian Ramallo, 44, was arrested Saturday and charged with armed burglary, grand theft and petit theft, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.
Ramallo is accused of robbing a home in Lake Worth Beach shortly before 9 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, the Sun-Sentinel reported. According to sheriff’s office spokesperson Teri Barbera, Ramallo allegedly stole 30 adult and baby cockatoos, four parakeets, 15 canaries and 20 pigeons from their cages.
Barbera said the birds were worth more than $10,000, according to the newspaper.
Security camera video showed a man wearing a dark hat with an orange brim and blue jeans outside the home, WPTV reported. The man also was wearing a blue hoodie with the phrase, “Sí, pero café con leche primero” (”Yes, but latte first”) in white letters on the back, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
According to the sheriff’s office, Ramallo allegedly returned to the residence 30 minutes after the first break-in, WPBF-TV reported. He was wearing a camouflaged jacket and no face covering, the newspaper reported.
Barbera said that subsequent media coverage of the theft led deputies to Ramallo, the Sun-Sentinel reported. She said that Ramallo drew attention to himself by discarding evidence tied to the crimes in a trash can.
“After your media coverage the suspect started dumping evidence in the trash; hence, bringing attention to himself,” spokeswoman Teri Barbera told WPTV in an email.
Only “a few” of the birds were recovered, Barbera told the Sun-Sentinel in an email on Monday.
Ramallo remains in the Palm Beach County Jail, online records show.
An investigation is ongoing.