A stolen Big Bird costume worth $160,000 has been returned after being taken from a circus in Adelaide by self-proclaimed “Big Bird Bandits”.
SA Police patrols were called to the circus at Port Road, Thebarton, just before 5am on Wednesday, after two males were reportedly seen carrying what appeared to be the missing costume of the character from the Sesame Street children’s TV show.
SAPOL said the costume was dumped near the south-western end of the circus, near an electricity box, and that the two males – who were both wearing dark clothing – ran away across Port Road.
Patrols converged on the area, securing the stolen costume, which SAPOL said contained a “letter of apology” in the beak.
The note, signed off by the “Big Bird Bandits” contained an apology for taking the costume, and said “we 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.”
Dog patrols searched the area, but the two men were not located.
The 213-centimetre-tall bright yellow costume is made from ostrich feathers and was flown from New York for use in the circus.
SAPOL said in a statement that the costume appeared to be intact.
The police investigation into the theft, which occurred between Sunday afternoon, April 18 and Monday morning, April 19, continues.
If found, the suspects could face theft charges.
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers.