Thief flies St. Paul coop with $20,000 worth of pigeons


When word of the crime was first distributed on Twitter by the St. Paul police, it looked pretty innocuous.

Soon an MPR blog explained that the 35 birds stolen from their owner's yard this week were racing pigeons and they might be worth $1,000. A police spokesman told MPR the thief left a coop of non-racing pigeons behind, taking only the most valuable birds.

FOX 9 then paid a visit to the victimized owner, who said the value was much more. John Kaiyalethe told the station one of the thoroughbred racers had a pedigree that made that bird alone worth $10,000. He estimated the value of the group at $20,000. Kaiyalethe told the station the pigeon named The Godfather was imported from Belgium, where his sire had been sold for nearly $60,000.

The Pioneer Press later put the number of stolen birds at 45. The newspaper reports that a Gem Lake breeder also had pigeons stolen recently. In that case a month ago, the ten stolen birds were worth an estimated $17,000, according to the paper.

But wait, there's even more pigeon news on this day. The Star Tribune has a separate story on a Plymouth couple being ordered by that city to get rid of the 35 rare pigeons they own. City officials say pigeons are not considered domestic animals and having them violates an ordinance, the Star Tribune reports. These birds are not racers but the owners have spent several years and thousands of dollars building their collection of rare birds. The couple tells the newspaper they plan to move away from their home of 13 years to a city that will allow them to keep the pigeons.

Next Up

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.


Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.

Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 11.00.30 AM

Money Gal Coaching: Habits of a millionaire, just in time for the holidays?

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

Mayo Belle Plaine

Mayo temporarily closes 5 clinics in southern MN amid COVID surge

The Mayo is reallocating staff to other sites as it deals with the COVID outbreak.

soda pop

MDH finds 'troubling' trend in how many sugary drinks students are consuming

Nearly half of students have a sugary drink a day. Health officials recommend limiting it to one per week or fewer.