They intended to soar to great heights and were flying high when their first big crime hit the headlines.
But instead of being the eagles of the underworld, South Australia’s infamous Big Bird Bandits have had their wings clipped by the cops and are now probably feeling like a pair of turkeys.
Two men who caused a stir when they allegedly stole a Big Bird costume belonging to the famous Sesame Street character from a circus in Adelaide, were taken into custody on Friday night and bailed to appear at Adelaide magistrates court in late June to answer for their bird-brained caper.
If the ‘beak’ (an old-fashioned European slang term for a magistrate) is unimpressed, they could end up doing some ‘bird’ (Cockney slang for prison time). The accused, aged 26 and 22, are from the suburb of Norwood and the nearby town of Murray Bridge.
He’s a very valuable Big Bird
The 213cm-tall yellow Big Bird costume is made from ostrich feathers and was specially flown from New York to take part in the circus.
Its high-quality workmanship, the materials used, the authentic nature of the costume, and the time it took to make (almost three months) give it an eye-watering price tag of around $160 000.
This is surely part of the reason it caused such a big flap when it went missing from the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular at Port Road in the suburb of Thebarton early last week.
After a highly publicised appeal by the circus owners and police for help from the Adelaide public, the thieves apparently had their feathers ruffled and decided to return it in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Bandits dumped the costume
After being alerted by an eagle-eyed citizen on his way to work, police officers found the costume dumped near the south-western end of the circus next to an electricity box.
In its beak was a note of apology for taking the costume, in which the thieves – who signed themselves as the Big Bird Bandits – said they had “no idea what we were doing, or what our actions would cause”.
“We were just having a rough time and were trying to cheer ourselves up,” said the note, which also apologised for being “such a big birden”.
“We had a great time with Mr Bird, he’s a great guy and no harm came to our friend.” But the Adelaide cops were unimpressed by this pair of turkeys and on Friday night they swooped on the bird-brained bandits and took them into custody.