TREMONT — A beloved parrot plucked from her owner's arms during an armed robbery has been found and returned in good condition cops said.
Police said that the bird was stolen at gunpoint by ex-con Darryyl Walker, 53, who followed her owner, 67-year-old Ana Marte, into their home in the Morris Housing Complex on Monday at 3 p.m.
Marte, a widow who lives alone, said she had never taken Cuca outside but decided to bring the bird on a walk for some fresh air because their apartment was so hot.
A video released by the NYPD shows Walker riding up the elevator with the woman and the bird, which was still in its cage.
When they reached her floor, Walker made for Cuca, Marte said.
"He said 'Let go of her! Give her to me!'" Marte said.
Walker, wearing a floppy white hat and jean shorts, then ran down the stairs of the housing project cage in hand, another surveillance video shows.
Marte said she called for help and was so distraught and nervous that people thought she was hurt.
"They asked 'Did you fall?' I said 'No! Call the police because someone stole my parrot!" she said.
After calling 911, police responded and managed to use surveillance video from the department's Viper cameras to track Walker to his apartment on Washington Avenue.
On Tuesday, cops arrested Walker, who was on parole for robbery after being released from Edgecombe Correctional Facility in January.
He confessed to stealing the bird and selling it, cops said. Police did not find a weapon in his apartment.
Walker was charged with robbery, grand larceny, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. He was brought to Bronx Criminal Court on Wednesday, where a judge set his bail at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond, records show.
Marte said she is endlessly grateful that law enforcement officials reunited her with Cuca.
"Thank god the parrot is here," she said. "She is like my daughter."
Marte said Cuca provides her much-needed company — especially in light of her husband's death last year.
"She's my companion," she said. "The parrot listens to me more than my kids."