Self-proclaimed ‘Big Bird Bandits’ who stole a $160,000 costume are charged

Self-proclaimed ‘Big Bird Bandits’ who ‘stole a $160,000 costume of the Sesame Street character’ from a circus before returning it with a bizarre apology note are charged

  • Sesame Street themed-circus is currently performing in Adelaide’s northwest  
  • The Big Bird costume was stolen from circus’ current site over the weekend 
  • Circus was forced to pull the character from shows, leaving fans heartbroken 
  • Police were called just before 5am to reports two men were seen with the bird
  • Officers found it dumped at the circus with a letter of apology stuffed in its beak 
  • Cops said on Saturday they have charged two men, aged 26 and 22, over theft  

The ‘Big Bird Bandits’ who allegedly stole a Sesame Street costume from a circus in Adelaide have been tracked down and charged.

The $160,000 Big Bird costume that was stolen from a circus and held captive for days was returned by two men ‘wearing dark clothing’ with an apology letter stuffed inside its beak.

The Sesame Street Circus Spectacular was rocked by the brazen robbery of the  popular character from its current performance site at Bonython Park, in Adelaide’s north-west, over the weekend.

South Australia police said two men, aged 26 and 22 from Norwood and Murray Bridge, were arrested on Friday night and later charged with theft and unlawfully being on premises.

They were granted bail and are next due to appear at Adelaide Magistrates Court in late June.

A Big Bird costume stolen from a Sesame Street-themed circus and held captive for days has been found dumped on the site (pictured) with a letter stuffed inside its beak

The circus was forced to pull the lovable yellow personality from his regular appearance during show intervals, leaving thousands of fans devastated. 

But the ‘Big Bird Bandits’ had a change of heart after learning of the devastation they had caused by whisking off with the beloved television icon, and returned the canary home in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Police were called to the scene just before 5am and found the outfit dumped by an electricity box in the southwestern end of the circus, with a handwritten note inside its mouth.

‘We are so sorry!!’ The note read. 

‘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.

‘So sorry to be such a big birden! Sincerely, the big bird bandits.’

The costume was intact and has been returned to the circus.

Police found a handwritten note inside the yellow bird's mouth written by its captors who apologised for the kidnapping

Police found a handwritten note inside the yellow bird’s mouth written by its captors who apologised for the kidnapping 

Police dogs searched the area but were unable to locate the men. 

The Sesame Street themed circus took to Facebook to share the good news after their star performer was brought home. 

‘Big Bird has been returned safely to us at Bonython Park!’ The circus wrote on its page.

‘Thank you to everyone that assisted in helping his return and thank you to everyone for their messages of support! Adelaide you are a true family!’

Police are continuing to investigate the theft and those responsible could face criminal charges if caught. 

The theft occurred between 4.30pm on Sunday and 9.30am on Monday, leaving a trail of yellow feathers behind along nearby Port Road.

The Sesame Street Circus Spectacular was forced to withdraw Big Bird (pictured) from its popular production following the theft of the bird’s costume

The yellow feathered costume was stolen from the circus' current performance site at Bonython Park in Adelaide north-west.

 The yellow feathered costume was stolen from the circus’ current performance site at Bonython Park in Adelaide north-west.

The brazen theft has brought Big Bird's appearances on the production to an abrupt halt

The brazen theft has brought Big Bird’s appearances on the production to an abrupt halt

Devastated fans flocked online after hearing the news to express their heartbreak.  

‘This is so sad.. why do some humans choose to be so dishonest and unethical.. give Big Bird back to he’s friends and family!’ one woman commented online.

Another added: ‘That’s awful, the kids and adults really enjoy the show.’

The 90-minute production which was locally written and produced tours South Australia along with regional Victoria and New South Wales. 

Many of Sesame Street’s most loved characters star in the show, including Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Bert and Ernie and Grover.

The circus also features performers from Switzerland, Argentina, Colombia, Morocco, Brazil, Ethiopia and Australia.

The circus held the first of its daily Bonython Park shows on Monday, where it’s currently based until May 2. 

Big Bird is a much-loved fan favourite in the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular production

Big Bird is a much-loved fan favourite in the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular production

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