A man charged with stealing snakes and birds from pet stores in Anne Arundel County by hiding the exotic animals under his shirt was arrested last week after he allegedly sold a pilfered parrot to a suspicious store owner, police said yesterday.
Scott Gerald Farrimond, 27, of the 1800 block Jay Bird Court, Severn, was charged with four counts of felony theft and one count of operating a felony theft scheme.
Anne Arundel County police said the man would bring stolen parrots and baby boa constrictors into pet stores, then act as if he'd had the animals as pets for a long time but was moving and had to sell them.
On Tuesday, the owner of Paradise Pets in Laurel complained to police that a parrot he had just bought from a man had been stolen from a pet store in Prince George's County. Detective Kevin Falls called and tricked the man into coming to the store, where he was arrested.
"He knows about birds," Detective Falls said. "He has raised snakes and birds before. To lure him back into the store, I had to do my homework. He was asking all sorts of questions."
Detective Falls said the man stole the animals during business hours by waiting until a clerk was distracted, then reaching into cages and hiding the pets under his clothes. Several times, he picked locks on cages.
Police said they searched the man's house Thursday and recovered a parrot. During a photographic line-up of suspects presented to merchants, six other thefts or sales of stolen property since May were revealed:
* May 15: Two boa constrictors -- each about 2 feet long -- stolen from Paradise Pets in Laurel. The snakes, worth $300, are still missing.
* May 18: A Meyers Parrot stolen from Parrots Plus in Glen Burnie; it was valued at $600.
* May 20: The Meyers Parrot was sold to House of Housers in Prince George's County.
* May 23: A Red-Headed Mexican Parrot was taken from Just For Pets in Scaggsville. The parrot, worth $850, is still missing.
* May 24: A Red-Headed Mexican Parrot, also worth $850, stolen from House of Housers. The parrot was sold the same day to Paradise Pets in Laurel.
Detective Falls said the man has pocketed about $550 by selling the stolen animals.