Birds of a Feather

Big Bird Bandits

In the weird, wild world of wackos, these blokes take the cake: two men stole a Big Bird costume from a Sesame Street circus show in Adelaide. The 213-cm-tall yellow costume is the iconic character from Sesame Street, aka Big Bird. But why anyone would steal the costume remains a mystery. Ransom? Drunken shenanigans? Or a cosplay stunt gone terribly wrong?

Big Bird Bandits

The costume in question is a hand-made affair made in America from ostrich feathers, working mechanisms, and articulated parts. The $160,000 costume took three months to make and was signed off by Sesame Street. Then it flew (on a plane) all the way to Adelaide.

One night in mid-April, unknown thieves apparently used a bolt cutter to liberate the Big Bird costume from its cage. The travelling touring show welcomed Sesame Street for the first time this year, and the producers were shocked to find the costume missing. The giant yellow bird costume with the huge striped tie and bulging eyes was the only costume used in the show, and there was no backup.

Circus director Keith Brown said the culprits left a trail of feathers during their fly-by-night caper, and police are hot on their trail. South Australia Police (SAPOL) combed the scene for feathery clues in the fowl case and listened to statements from locals.

Sorry to Be Such a “Big Birden!”

Days later, the costume mysteriously came home to roost. SAPOL responded to a call Wednesday, April 21 at 5:00am. Two males were seen carrying a large yellow bird costume on the premises of the circus.

Witnesses described two males in dark clothing running away across Port Road after dropping the costume near an electricity box at the south-western end of the circus.

Police secured the stolen costume and discovered a hand-written note stuck in Big Bird’s beak. The note was a personal apology signed by the “Big Bird Bandits.”

The note contained an apology with a rather strange explanation for the crime:

“We are so sorry!!!
Big Bird near bin
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.
We had a great time with Mr. Bird, he’s a great guy and no harm came to our friend.
Sorry to be such a big birden!

Apparently, the media hullaballoo caused by the missing Big Bird prompted the Bandits to return their fine feathered friend. Or maybe when they heard it was worth $160k, they realised the hefty consequences of their prank.

Bird Bandits Busted

The police investigation produced two suspects in the costume caper: Tasman Binder, 22, and Cody Milne, 26, were caught a few days after their brash bird burglary.

The two men appeared in court on June 30 and were charged with theft and unlawfully being on premises. Conditions of their bail stated that the two must not be in contact with each other until the end of the trial. This condition has been removed until the next trial date in November.

But they are never allowed to go to the circus again.

The young men appeared in court sporting some rather unusual attire – but not bird-related. One man wore a pastel green blazer and a white turtleneck shirt with chain. The other bandit looked as if Crocodile Dundee sired a hipster son, complete with what appeared to be a croc-skin jacket and retro shades. And another white turtleneck and chain.

What kind of gang colours are these?

The Takeaway

bandit1 Birds of a Feather

Is Adelaide that boring? Do hopped-up youths roam the streets all night looking for bizarre and entertaining crimes to commit? Maybe it’s merely the desperate action of some weird cosplay cult. ‘You bring the Batman; I’ll bring the Bird.’

Just the fact that the Birdbrain Bandits promised that ‘no harm came to our friend’ should raise all the red flags. We don’t believe a man-bird-costume friendship can be firmly established in less than a fortnight. We hope that a forensics team thoroughly combed every feather on Big Bird for germs, damage, or any signs of unnatural man/costume friendship bonding.

Well, we’ll keep on watching the web for weird news because it’s a good laugh. And we can’t wait till November to see how these Bandits fair in court. Will they fly the coop, or will their goose be cooked?

We’ll keep you posted.

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