Lexington, SC(WLTX) -- An exotic bird shop owner is stunned, after he says someone broke in and stole $7000 worth of exotic birds and cages.
Birds by Vita store owner Joe Lesh can't believe it. When he came to work Monday morning, the business he spent two years building, had been robbed.
"I pulled around to the parking lot and found several cages that were still in the parking lot that had been all stumbled and jumbled around," said Lesh. "I had seen that the door was open and the window was broke. I went in and looked around, but I realized that they had stole a lot of birds and a lot of cages."
As he made his way through the store a number of cages were missing, some pushed over on to the ground. One of his older birds was found dead.
"They took the largest cages that they could fit through the doors and they literally knocked down and pushed cages out of the way to get them out through the back door."
Cockatoo's, African Greys, and parrots were some of the fourteen exotic birds stolen. Marci Delpino was boarding her pet of two years Gi Gi at the store, one of the birds that was taken.
"I hope they are safe, that's my biggest concern. I hope they make it back and find the person who did it," said Delpino.
Major John Allard with the Lexington Sheriff's Department doesn't believe the store was targeted randomly.
"It was not someone who just broke in and was rummaging around. Whoever broke in knew what they were looking for," said Allard.
While the birds may be exotic, Lesh says the suspects have left his business anything short of glamorous. He hopes the public can help find his feathered friends.
"It's taken us like two years to get it going and floating and now this is a big hit for us," said Lesh.
Lexington deputies say they're continuing to investigate the robbery. If you have any information about this incident, you are urged to call Crimestoppers. That number is 1-888-CRIME-SC.