QUEENS — A pair of young men botched two Rego Park break-ins — first at a dentist's office and then at a pet store — Wednesday morning, fleeing the scene as police arrived, a store employee and police said.
First, the two broke into a dentist office on 63rd Drive near Saunders Street about 3 a.m., according to the NYPD.
They left empty handed, but tried again a couple of doors down at a Petland Discount pet store also on 63rd Drive, police said.
A store employee who saw security footage of the thieves in the store, but did not want his name used because he was not authorized to talk, said the burglars pried the door open and went straight for the bird cages.
The burglars, who police said were in their late teens or early 20s, grabbed a couple of finches, canaries and a small parrot called a ringneck and stuffed them into two cages, the employee said.
"They just grabbed a bunch of birds," he said, estimating they had six or seven birds.
He said one of the men was wearing a garbage bag over his head with eye holes poked through to allow him to see. The other obscured his face with a hoodie or a T-shirt.
"It didn't look like they knew what they were doing," he said.
The two got spooked, the employee said, because they took off without the birds.
The birds were not harmed, he said.
Anyone with information about the attempted thefts is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).