There was an unusual abduction in Oviedo this week: The owner of My Oviedo Store, Emma Reichert, said someone stole her beloved pet rooster, Fred. While chickens are a common sight in town, Reichert said Fred is a special one.

a close up of a chicken: Fred the rooster

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Fred the rooster

“He’s a bit of a diva,” Reichert said. “He knows that he’s handsome. And he knows that people like him. And so he’s a friendly rooster because he likes that attention. It’s very strange.”

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But, Fred’s friendly nature got him into a bit of trouble on Monday when a man took him from the store parking lot in broad daylight just before 5 p.m. according to Reichert. Her staff noticed he was missing on Tuesday when he wasn’t in his cage inside the gift shop and because there were no chicken droppings. So, Reichert turned to Facebook to get help from the community since Fred is loved by many.

“He’s so cute and he’s wonderful and he’s connected to Oviedo,” said resident Jean Nelson.

Thankfully, a woman on Facebook said she saw a man chasing chickens around the shopping plaza on Monday which sparked Reichert’s staff to track down surveillance video from a nearby store. The video shows the man capturing chickens. The shop staff handed the video over to Oviedo police who tracked down the man’s vehicle and eventually Fred on Tuesday night.

“If somebody came into your yard and stole your dog, how would that feel?” Reichert said.

Body camera video from the Oviedo Police Department shows Fred getting a squawking reunion on Tuesday night.

“I love him so much. Fred, I love you so much. He’s just spectacular,” Reichert said.

With Fred back safe and sound, Reichert said she did not want to pursue charges. She just hopes this is a lesson for people passing through Oviedo that the chickens are not just a dime a dozen.

“Although some of them are feral, some of them aren’t. And it’s not OK to come and steal chickens,” she said.

Oviedo Police said the man admitted to taking Fred the rooster because he was afraid the chickens were going to get run over by cars.

READ THE FULL STORY:Oviedo police, gift shop staff track down stolen pet rooster

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