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Arrests Made in Disappearance of $160K Big Bird

7-foot-tall costume swiped from Aussie circus, then returned with apology note: 'We had a great time'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2021 8:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – They may not have known how to get to Sesame Street, but two suspected Aussie thieves apparently knew how to get back to the venue where they allegedly swiped a Big Bird costume. The Guardian reports that the nearly 7-foot-tall, $160,000 outfit, said to be made of ostrich feathers and imported from New York, vanished from an Adelaide circus earlier this week, with only a trail of feathers left behind, according to the circus director. Then, on Wednesday, the costume reappeared, dumped near an electrical box on circus grounds, along with a letter of contrition stuffed into the beak. In their note, the suspects, who admitted they "had no idea what we were doing," apologized for swiping the costume, noting they'd hit a rough patch and were just "trying to cheer [ourselves] up."

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Their creative therapy seemed to have worked, because "we had a great time with Mr. Bird," they added. "He's a great guy." Per a police statement, cops searched the grounds for the suspects with K9 units but initially found nothing. It's not clear how they eventually busted the self-named "Big Bird Bandits," but South Australia cops say two men, ages 22 and 26, were arrested on Friday evening and charged with theft and being unlawfully on the premises. They've since been released on bail and will next appear in court in late June. Meanwhile, circus patrons are glad to see Big Bird is back. "Very excited and happy," one fan tells ABC News Australia. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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