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Bag-wearing Florida man steals birds from spiritual store

At least 2 dozen birds stolen from Botanica Viejo Lazaro

MIAMI – A religious store in Miami was targeted by burglars last week, and the store owners hope that surveillance video will help police capture the culprit.

The owners of Botanica Viejo Lazaro at 5800 W. Flagler St. said this is the second time in about six months that someone has broken into the business.

The burglary was reported about 9:30 p.m. on Friday.

Surveillance videos shows the man, who was wearing a plastic bag and carrying a bucket, taking at least two dozen birds.

"We work every day, we have babies. It's hard for us, and they come to steal our stuff," Mae Hernandez said.

Hernandez and her husband, who have owned the spiritual shop for years, sell a number of religious and cultural items.

"It's almost like robbing a church," Hernandez said.

Local 10 News was told that some of the birds are used in religious ceremonies and others are the couple's personal animals.

Among the birds stolen were sporting pigeons that were not for sale.

The video shows the thief getting stuck inside the locked area where the birds are kept for nearly a half-hour.

He was then seen falling from a ladder that he used to get over the barbed-wire fence.

"I hope they catch the people, and I hope they don't continue doing the same (thing) with us," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said the thief also got away with tools.

She said police have made arrests in previous burglaries at her store and she hopes they are able to make an arrest this time as well.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.


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