There was a welcome home party for a newfound celebrity in North Myrtle Beach Friday. Jessy the cockatoo is back where she belongs, after she was stolen a few weeks ago.
The crime was discovered on December 22, when Ron Blum came to work at Hawaiian Rumble Mini Golf and noticed a rear window had been broken out. And that was just the start.
"Coming up the ramp and glass was all over the deck and it scared the heck out of me. And I got in here and Jessy's door was open," Blum said.
That's right: Jessy the cockatoo had been bird-napped.
Jessy has lived at the mini golf course for 15 years, and as a surveillance video that was turned over to North Myrtle Beach shows, she was not anxious to leave her cage.
This is one bird who took a bite out of crime.
"She had run to the bottom of the cage and then she'd bite at (the thieves), and they had a real hard time getting the cage open," said Bob Detwiler, owner of Hawaiian Rumble.
Detwiler wanted his bird back bad, so he put up a $1,000 reward leading to Jessy's safe return.
Then, straight from the files of the World's Dumbest Criminals, the thieves who took Jessy posted pictures of her online.
"This person couldn't wait to put the bird on Facebook along with some other pictures, so we could identify the bird almost immediately," said Detwiler.
Soon after, Detwiler says a confidential informant tipped off North Myrtle Beach police about Jessy's whereabouts, followed by arrest warrants that were issued for the two suspected bird-nappers. The informant rescued Jessy and brought the bird back to the mini golf course this week, safe and sound.
She's now happily entertaining her fans again, especially the kids.
"The thing that they like the most is because Jessy in particular always mimics their laugh. They laugh and then the bird will laugh," said Cheryl Persinger of North Myrtle Beach, who brought her 4-year-old grandson, Eian, to visit Jessy Friday.
Hawaiian Rumble has six other cockatoos, but Detwiler says Jessy is the most popular.
Detwiler says the bird-nappers are wanted for various crimes in South Carolina, North Carolina and Ohio, but are still at large.
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