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Florida Keys man known as 'Redbeard' accused of stealing roommate's $1,800 parrot

Justin Peters, 40, arrested on grand theft, animal cruelty charges
stolen eclectus parrot from Summerland Key
Posted at 11:33 AM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 12:18:26-04

SUMMERLAND KEY, Fla. — A Florida Keys man with a pirate's nickname is accused of stealing his roommate's pricey parrot, which was later found wounded.

Justin Peters, 40, of Summerland Key, was arrested Tuesday on charges of grand theft and animal cruelty.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokesman Adam Linhardt said the eclectus parrot's 37-year-old owner suspected in June that her roommate had stolen her pet. She claimed she's repeatedly told Peters, who goes by the name "Redbeard," to leave the bird alone and that he didn't have permission to take the bird out of its cage.

A day earlier, a witness reported seeing Peters at a bus stop near his business. The witness said he later noticed that Peters was gone, but there was a red parrot on the bench.

He took the parrot and then called deputies.

Witnesses at a nearby restaurant and gas station also reported seeing Peters with the same parrot. They said the bird appeared to be agitated.

Lindhardt said the bird was taken to a veterinarian to be treated for multiple broken bones, a dislocated hip, blunt force trauma to one side of its body and other injuries.