GIBSONTON, Fla. (WFLA) – In Gibsonton, two scarlet macaws, with a combined value of about $2,500, were stolen from a barn. The owner tells us he is going to search for them until he finds them.
Although the birds do not have names, they know their owner’s name and they will repeat it, which is how you will be able to identify them.
The owner, Rod Hopp, explained it to us.
“I could go to them and say, ‘Rod!’ and they’ll go, ‘Rod!’ so I hope they are driving whoever stole them nuts,” he said.
Hopp loves all of his animals.
“What are you talking about kid?” he asked his pet monkey as he brought him a special dinner of fruits and vegetables.
He calls the monkey Bob.
“Look what I got for you. What do you like the best?”
Hopp has hundreds of animals on his property. He sells most of them but he cannot part with a handful of them, including Bob and the macaws. He bought the two scarlet macaws three years ago.
“I bought them to sell,” he admitted to us. “But, sometimes, when you meet a woman, you fall in love. I met the birds and fell in love.”
The three of them, Hopp and the macaws, share a special bond.
“I just played with them and tickled their tummy and all that and called them a rascal,” he recalled.
He tells us someone stole the birds from their cage, which was sitting in a locked room in the barn on Dec. 17.
“They must have went in there and put a cage there and forced them into another cage,” he said.
He has security cameras at the barn but they were not recording anything at the time of the crime. Now, Hopp has a message for the thief.
“Like Grady Judd, the sheriff in Polk County, always says, ‘We are gonna get you!’ I hope I can do the same here.”
Hopp is offering a reward for the safe return of the macaws. He is also adding more security cameras to his property.
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