Today’s news:

Exotic bird stolen from outside Bayside florist

A Bayside Juliet has been left lonely after her Romeo was snatched last week in front of a floral shop on Bell Boulevard.

Greg Amentas, owner of Bayside Florist at 39-19 Bell Blvd., said he was hoping police would find Romeo, a five-year-old Sun Conure parrot, after the bird was stolen from his cage in front of his flower shop June 22.

The thief left Juliet, a cockatiel, by herself in the cage.

“The whole neighborhood is upset,” Amentas said. “Everyone is used to stopping by and talking to the bird. People have been coming by and saying, ‘Oh, my God, what happened to him?’”

Amentas said the bird was taken from the cage around 1 p.m. A man loading a truck across the street from the florist ran into the store and told Amentas the thief had reached into the cage, removed Romeo and fled down Bell Boulevard before turning onto 40th Avenue.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic man of an indeterminate age who was wearing a gray hat and stood about 5 feet 7 inches.

“What a rotten person,” Amentas said. “He just opened the cage and put his hand inside. I don’t know how he didn’t get bitten. Maybe he had a glove on.”

Romeo is orange and yellow with green stripes on his wing. Sun Conures, which can cost up to $800 at a pet store, are native to northeastern South America.

The bird shared a cage with Juliet, who is green and yellow, in front of the store amid a selection of plants and flowers.

“It’s summer, so they like the heat,” Amentas said of the birds.

Maria Amentas, Greg Amentas’ daughter, said she was shocked Romeo was stolen and that such thefts were uncommon in the community.

“We just want him returned,” she said. “He’s our family’s bird.”

But the incident is just the latest in a string of burglaries and robberies that began along Bell Boulevard last fall.

On Oct. 26, an armed man entered the Radio Shack along the shopping strip and took an estimated $400 worth of Blue Tooth headsets, while a Rite Aid pharmacy chain store near Northern Boulevard was burglarized in early November. Thieves made off with $20,000 from the pharmacy’s safe.

A Mandee chain store on Bell Boulevard near 42nd Avenue was robbed Dec. 28. During that incident, the suspect displayed a gun and stole $3,000 in cash.

No arrests have been made in any of the incidents.

Anyone with information on the incident can call the floral shop at 718-423-0900.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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